I am hurt that even though I was the first to make the connection last week that the hiring of Kelly Marcel to write the Fifty Shades of Grey screenplay means good things for my long-held hope for her pal Tom Hardy to be cast as Christian Grey, I have not yet received a job offer to be the movie’s casting director. Well, thanks to the Tumblr Exploring Tom Hardy, tattoo artist Danny Inked Norris and the Facebook page of the Richmond Tattoo Studio in Richmond Upon Thames, England, I feel one step closer to proving my point.
Fifty Shades Of Grey
How did directors, writers and producers trade heated insults before Twitter? Well, in a way much less entertaining for the rest of us, that’s for sure. We have been particularly entertained by the feud that bubbled up yesterday, when Bret Easton Ellis expressed frustration that Kelly Marcel landed the gig he’d been vying for, writing the screenplay of Fifty Shades of Grey.
Unfortunately — or maybe fortunately — he lobbed this insult just an hour after releasing the teaser trailer for his upcoming movie, The Canyons, starring Lindsay Lohan and James Deen. The sneak peek plays up the campy nature of the movie with the look of a melodrama made in the 1960s. And it was basically placed in the direct line of fire of Fifty Shades producer Dana Brunetti. “@BretEastonEllis Really, Bret? The day you release that ‘trailer’. School film? You’re losing it,” he said in a tweet he then deleted, according to E!. Then Brunetti proceeded to retweet a slew of posts critiquing The Canyons. Read more…
Please bear with me as I turn a tiny bit of news into wild speculation/fanfic. Focus Features just issued a press release stating that Kelly Marcel has landed the highly coveted gig of turning E.L. James‘ Fifty Shades of Grey into a screenplay. Reportedly it was her screenplay Saving Mr. Banks, about Walt Disney’s quest to acquire the rights to Mary Poppins, that got her the job, even though that movie is still in production. We thought we’d take a look at Marcel’s IMDb page to see what else she had done and found out two interesting things: 1) She’s the creator of Terra Nova, that TV show we forgot to watch last year, and 2) she founded something called the Bad Dog Theater Company in London with none other than Mr. Tom Hardy.
Now, I’m a giant fan of Ian Somerhalder and a lot of the other hot actors people have been proposing to play BDSM-obsessed CEO Christian Grey, but ever since I read the book, I’ve been picturing Tom Hardy in the role. He’s just got that right combination of dangerous, sexy and vulnerable required to play the vulnerable overachiever. So even though I can find no actual evidence either of this Bad Dog Theater Company (besides its mention in various online bios), nor do I have any reason to believe Marcel has any pull in the casting of Fifty’s star, I need something like this to boost our spirits on a Monday afternoon. Hollywood, please listen to me for once.
[Photo: Warner Bros.]
So, you’ve feverishly read through most of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy — that third one takes some work, right — the movie is eons away, and now you’re getting kind of tired of seeing everyone, their mother and their brother-in-law reading the books on the train, the plane and everywhere in between. What’s next? Fifty Shames of Earl Grey by the pseudonymous Fanny Merkin (a.k.a. book blogger Andrew Shaffer) is kind of the perfect beach read for the end of summer and the end of your obsession.
If you have cleared fantasies of Christian and Ana and the Red Room of Pain from your mind, you might be starting to see the absurdities of the books’ plot and characters — how does no one call the authorities on Christian’s stalkerish behavior? How would a publishing company hire a girl fresh out of college to be an editor, regardless of who owns the place? The list goes on. Earl Grey just takes those absurdities a little further with the story of Anna Steal and Earl Grey.
The skeleton of the plot is the same, but the details are hilariously exaggerated. Anna’s roommate, “a total B,” is Kathleen Kraven, an alcoholic 38-year-old writer for Boardroom Hotties. Their friend Jin is a Brony, Before her interview of Earl, she has actually never ridden in an elevator because “we don’t have elevators in Portland.” Anna works at Walmart. Earl Grey buys Walmart in his efforts to impress/control her. Oh, and he’s not into your average BDSM — his version stands for “Bards, Dragons, Sorcery and Magick,” as in very sexy LARP-ing.
Probably some of you were a little too busy with, er, other things on your mind while reading Fifty Shades of Grey to realize author E.L. James was giving you the perfect playlist for your very own, um, enjoyment. Or if you’re that great a multi-tasker, in between buying that complete set of restraints and riding crops, you’ve already downloaded all the Thomas Tallis, Bach and more that accompanies Ana and Christian’s adventures in and out of the “Red Room of Pain,” For the rest of us, EMI has actually compiled a bunch of those songs into Fifty Shades of Grey – The Classical Album (alas, that means no Britney Spears or Kings of Leon will be included).
“I am thrilled that the classical pieces that inspired me while I wrote the Fifty Shades Trilogy are being brought together in one collection for all lovers of the books to enjoy,” James said in a press release from the label. The album drops digitally on August 21 and in CD format on September 18.
Here’s a track list to, um, whet your appetite:
“You know that best-selling book everyone loves? I haven’t read it,” says a female cyclist in Citibank’s “Dedication” ad airing during the Olympics. Except, wrong. According to Australia’s Herald Sun (via the Daily Mail), the Aussie ladies’ swim team has been making time in their schedule for that book everyone loves, Fifty Shades of Grey.
“Most of the swimming girls are reading Fifty Shades of Grey. We’re all talking about it,” said Alicia Coutts, who so far has a gold for the 4x100m freestyle relay, silvers for the 4×200 freestyle relay and the 200m IM, and a bronze for the 100m butterfly. She said her manager recommended the E.J. James book to her, and now she and her teammates use it to relax.
There’s just something about Troian Bellisario that screams Anastasia Steele to us. Perhaps it’s her lovely dark hair and pale skin, or maybe it’s her confident yet vulnerable turn as Spencer Hastings on Pretty Little Liars. Yep, she’s got Fifty Shades of something about her, and we’re hoping E.L. James is noticing – because Troian is a huge Fifty Shades of Grey fan. She shared her love for the series with VH1 at the Teen Choice Awards. When we revealed that she topped the list of our dream cast, Bellisario sweetly responded, “That just makes my heart sing.”
As for the possibility of playing the infamous Seattle submissive? Troian says she’s all for it. “I think it would be something terrifying but if you’re not doing terrifying things every day, you’re not living, so I would love to do that.”
Now we just need to find her the perfect Christian. Any takers, gentlemen actors of Hollywood?
Everyone in and out of Hollywood has been hate-reading, love-reading, fantasy casting, parodying and talking non-stop about Fifty Shades of Grey for months now, but we’re still pretty surprised about who has turned out to be the biggest fan of them all: best-selling author Bret Easton Ellis. Since last week the American Psycho scribe has been tweeting about how much he wants to adapt the Twilight-fanfic-inspired BDSM trilogy for the big screen. He’s contacted his agent and everything. Nor does this seem to be a fleeting obsession: Last night, when he could have been tweeting about his real decision to cast Lindsay Lohan opposite porn star James Deen in his movie The Canyons, he was armchair casting Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele instead. His ideas weren’t groundbreaking, but now we’re starting to wonder if they’ll really start gaining traction.
“Rereading Fifty Shades of Grey: it’s hard for me to think of Ian Somerhalder as Christian G. because I’ve known him personally for so long,” he wrote of the Vampire Diaries star, who co-starred in the movie based on Ellis’ The Rules of Attraction. But he added later:
Of all the many, many rumors we’ve been hearing about the movie adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey, this is one of our favorites: Angelina Jolie’s name has been floating around — no, not as a gender-swapped version of Christian Grey (though that would make things more interesting, and she did it for Salt!), nor as a casting choice for Elena/”Mrs. Robinson” (because who doesn’t think she’s into “kinky f—ery”?), but as a possible director of the film. According to Deadline, the folks at Universal Pictures denied having any conversations with Jolie, BUT they’d certainly consider her if she were into it. Hmmm, the love story of a naive college graduate and the corporate exec with a secret BDSM life sounds a wee bit different from In the Land of Blood and Honey, Angie’s directorial debut. It does, however, remind us of Jolie’s earlier days as a bad-girl actress who wore her husband’s blood around her neck. If she brought some of that attitude, and a little more feminist flavor than the book has, we could really get into this movie. Anyway, Deadline’s Mike Fleming doesn’t think it would happen, since she’s too involved in starring in Maleficent at the moment.
What’s your favorite Fifty Shades rumor of the moment? Sound off in the comments!
[Photos: Knopf Doubleday, Getty Images]
A more cynical writer (or less indulgent reader) might say this marks the moment that 50 Shades of Grey — or, more accurately, making fun of Fifty Shades of Grey — jumped the shark. Selena Gomez and Nick Kroll have made a Funny or Die video in which the teen queen fantasizes about her gross house painter as a result of reading a little too much E.L. James. But I’m not going to say that, because I have laughed at EVERY SINGLE ONE of these, and I’m showing no signs of tiring of the topic. Comedians of the world, you may still keep these parodies coming, for our appetite is as insatiable as Anastasia Steele’s. What I do fear is that by the time they get around to actually making the real movie, we won’t be able to take it seriously in the least. If we ever would have, that is. (OK, if Ian Somerhalder plays Christian, I promise to take it seriously.) Here five other readings/parodies to enjoy … until the next one comes along. None of these are SFW, btw.
1. Fifty Shades of Grey, the animated trailer. If you’ve read the book, I have two words of warning for you: blue string. If you haven’t, just prepare for some CGI gross. Read more…