Kelly Marcel (who like Taylor-Johnson, is British) has written the script, which is based on the first in James’ “Fifty Shades” series, which have sold over a whopping 70 million copies in e-book and print worldwide. The film — being produced by Universal Pictures and Focus Features —
had reportedly been linked to the likes of Gus Van Sant and Joe Wright
at various points (though none of that was confirmed).
Taylor-Johnson (known professionally as “Sam Taylor-Wood” until last year when she married actor Aaron Johnson), is a photographer, visual artist and filmmaker perhaps best known for her 2009 film “Nowhere Boy,” which was based on the childhood experiences of John Lennon (played by future husband Aaron Johnson). Though surely from this point forward she has a new “best known as” moniker.
Universal and Focus acquired the rights to James’ trilogy in March 2012 after a serious bidding war. The heavily erotic books (which originated as fan fiction to the “Twilight” series) follow the relationship between a college graduate, Anastasia Steele, and a young businessman Christian Grey. Rumors about the casting of each character have been swirling ever since the rights were bought, though expect that to heighten now that the film has finally found a director.