E. L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey to be Adapted by Universal and Focus

It was announced recently that Universal Pictures and Focus Features will partner up in marketing and distribution of a film adaptation of an online best-seller, Fifty Shades of Grey.  This was after Universal Pictures won a major bidding war for the film rights over the weekend, where they promptly announced that they will develop a film .  Written by E. L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey is the first book of a romance genre trilogy called the Fifty series.

The announcement was made by Universal Pictures’ Chairman Adam Fogelson and Co-Chairman Donna Langley.  Both went on to say,

The ‘Fifty Shades’ Trilogy is a one-of-a-kind series of stories and we’re thrilled to be collaborating with E. L. James to bring them to the big screen.  Like so many readers all over the globe, we’ve fallen in love with ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.’ It’s a special story and working with Focus, we hope to bring audiences a film they can enjoy as much as they loved the book.”

James Schamus, Chief Executive Officer of Focus Features said,

At its core, this is a romance of the most emotionally resonant, but delicate, order – and we look forward to working with our colleagues at Universal to transform E. L. James’ vision into a great film.”

That’s the clean version of how the story is being sold by Universal and Focus.  It gets better.

Initially the book was distributed by an Australia based publisher The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House.   The book has since turned into an overnight literary success has begun to sell an estimated ten thousand copies per day.  The e-book format of the book currently holds spots on the bestseller list on Amazon, The New York Times and Barnes & Noble.

Is it because romance is a high sell point that sales are doing well?  Certainly Twilight can’t be to blame here, can it?  Well, yes, it actually is to blame but there’s a twist.  The story was inspired by the popularity of the Twilight series.  James actually published the book independently online then took it down when the popularity caught on.  The book was then picked up by The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing, then bought by Vintage Books; part of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group; a major U.S. publisher.  This romantic story is actually bondage erotica which has been dubbed online as, “Mommy Porn.”  I on the other hand will go with what my high school English teacher called all romance novels.  Cliterature.

The Fifty series deals with sexual behaviour that is usually considered taboo; aside from porn that is.  The story seems to have hit a target audience of adult females who have continued to spread the message almost virally online.  While there are those that do this openly, a lot of women are also living in the luxurious anonymity of cyberspace.  Free to be unrepressed and vocal about it.

The clean version that will appear on most sites talking about the news in passing will be as follows:  The Fifty Shades of Grey story; in a nutshell; is a story about a relationship between 27-year-old billionaire Christian Grey and college student Anastasia Steele.

Forget that the names even matter. The story romanticizes female sexual submission which revolves around a graduate student who falls in lust with an dashing, older billionaire.  The man is handsome, wealthy, and has some extravagant bedroom appetites.  Who says you can’t buy happiness?

The Fifty trilogy also includes titles Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, in which the couple’s relationship is further explored.  I’m not sure how much more freaky things can get after the first book, but it’ll be fun getting there.  Bow chikka wow wow!

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