Universal and Focus acquired the rights to EL James’ best-selling 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 a set schedule.
Full press release below.
NEW YORK, June 27th, 2013 – The global release of Fifty Shades of Grey will start in North America on Friday, August 1st, 2014 with opening dates around the world to be announced. The Focus Features domestic theatrical release will be in theaters nationwide. Universal Pictures International is releasing the movie in the rest of the world.
Sam Taylor-Johnson is directing the highly anticipated film adaptation of E L James’ #1 bestselling book. Fifty Shades of Grey has been adapted into a screenplay by Kelly Marcel. Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti are producing the movie version alongside Ms. James.
Universal Pictures and Focus Features acquired the rights to the three books in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy in March 2012. Focus Features will market and distribute the first film in partnership with Universal. Fifty Shades of Grey has become a global phenomenon and the trilogy has been translated in over 50 languages worldwide since its release. To date, the “Fifty Shades” trilogy has sold over 70 million copies worldwide in e-book and print, making it one of the fastest-selling book series ever.
Fifty Shades of Grey (first published in 2011) follows the relationship of 27-year-old billionaire Christian Grey and college student Anastasia Steele. Subsequent novels in the series, Fifty Shades Darker (2011) and Fifty Shades Freed (2012) explore the couple’s deepening relationship. For more information please see the official Fifty Shades of Grey Facebook page: www.facebook.com/fiftyshadesofgreymovie.
Focus Features and Focus Features International (www.focusfeatures.com) comprise a singular global company. This worldwide studio makes original and daring films that challenge the mainstream to embrace and enjoy voices and visions from around the world that deliver global commercial success. The company operates as Focus Features in North America, and as Focus Features International (FFI) in the rest of the world.
In addition to Fifty Shades of Grey, upcoming Focus Features releases include The World’s End, the new comedy reuniting director Edgar Wright with actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost; Closed Circuit, the suspense thriller directed by John Crowley and starring Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall; the true-life dramatic thriller Kill the Messenger, to be directed by Michael Cuesta and star Jeremy Renner; the comedic fable The Boxtrolls, the new animated feature from LAIKA, directed by Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable with a voice cast that includes Ben Kingsley, Toni Collette, Elle Fanning, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, and Tracy Morgan; Black Sea, the adventure thriller to star Jude Law for Academy Award-wining director Kevin Macdonald; and Dallas Buyers Club, the fact-based drama directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and starring Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, and Jared Leto.
Focus Features and Universal Pictures are part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is owned by Comcast Corporation.