Who would have thought innocuous British author E.L. James would be one to make Hollywood executives bend over backwards to work with her? She’s the writer of “50 Shades of Grey,” a sexually-charged e-book that started as Twilight fan fiction and evolved into its own entity. It’s about Anastasia Steele, a 21-year-old almost-college-grad who starts a steamy S&M relationship with Christian Grey, a billionaire playboy in his late twenties who dominates her sexually and emotionally. No wonder people are getting all hot and bothered.
James is in Hollywood this week with her agent taking meetings with studios to see which one would be the best fit to bring her work to the big screen. She’s met with Sony, Paramount, Universal, and more already, and she’s expected to make a decision by the end of the week. It’s no surprise that “Grey” has its roots in Twilight fan fiction, since the themes of a dangerous older man and a sexual awakening are on full display. According to the L.A. Times, women are eating this up because it’s mostly in e-book form, so they don’t have the stigma of people watching them reading it in public. And despite the dominating forcefulness of the title character, there are those that claim the book is actually about female empowerment. (I haven’t read it, so I’m not sure how that comes into play.)
Studios are hoping this is the next big franchise that draws in the female fan-base, since James has already turned this into a trilogy of books. Anybody out there read these things and think they’d make good films?