Sam Taylor-Johnson has been hired to direct the upcoming film adaptation of the worldwide best-selling book trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey. Taylor-Johnson directed the 2009 John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy. That film starred her future husband Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass, Savages). The 46-year-old director whose maiden name is Taylor-Wood developed an on-set romance with the 23-year-old Taylor-Johnson. Ironically, she already had “Taylor” in her former surname so she only had to adopt the “Johnson” upon marrying him.
Fifty Shades of Grey follows the story of 27-year-old billionaire Christian Grey and his seduction of college student Anastasia Steele. The book features graphic sexual content and producer Michael DeLuca (Moneyball, The Social Network) explains why Taylor-Johnson was the perfect choice for this subject matter, he says “Sam’s unique ability to gracefully showcase complex relationships dealing with love, emotion and sexual chemistry make her the ideal director to bring Christian and Anastasia’s relationship to life. E.L. James’ characters and vivid storytelling require a director who is willing to take risks and push the envelope where needed, and Sam is a natural fit.” Taylor-Johson also commented upon getting the gig, “I am excited to be charged with the evolution of Fifty Shades of Grey from page to screen. For the legions of fans, I want to say that I will honor the power of Erika’s book and the characters of Christian and Anastasia. They are under my skin too.”
Neither of the leads have been cast as of yet. Among the many actors rumored to be playing Christian Grey is Armie Hammer, but in an interview with USA Today, he debunks the idea saying, “No one actually offered me the movie, but while I was working on Lone Ranger my agent brought it up, and I said ‘Nope.’ I mean, come on — it’s just mommy porn. I’m not going to sit on top of the laundry machine in spin cycle reading about putting a ball gag in someone’s mouth. That doesn’t do it for me.”
The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy is a global phenomenon with the books having been translated into 50 languages and selling over 70 million copies worldwide. Universal Pictures and Focus Features have acquired the rights to distribute all three books in the series, with the hope to adapt follow-ups Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, if the first movie is a hit.