Fifty Shades of Grey: How far will film adaptation dare go?

Jan 7, 2013

British screenwriter promises a 'raunchy' movie but dodges questions about casting

PEOPLE in Hollywood have gone to desperate measures to find out who will play Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey, according to British screenwriter Kelly Marcel. On a recent visit to LA, Marcel's "trash was gone through" so she's now getting shredders installed at her home in Twickenham, London.

In an interview with the Sunday Times Style magazine, 38-year-old Marcel gave a hint of what fans can expect from the film but remained mum on the subject of casting.

Anyway, she insists, "no actor would sign up to a film without a script" - so until the screenplay is delivered it's not an issue.

Try telling that to the Hollywood gossips who are convinced it will be Ryan Gosling or Tom Hardy for the role of Christian (to name but two) and either Kristen Stewart, Scarlett Johansson or Mila Kunis playing Anastasia.

Even the Sunday Times' own business columnist Prufrock has joined in the guessing game, claiming that the latest name to be linked to the part of Anastasia is Krysten Ritter, best known for her role as Jane Margolis in the TV series Breaking Bad.

What Marcel is happy to reveal is that there is going to be "a lot of sex in the film" and that it will be rated NC-17 in America, 18 in the UK. "It's going to be raunchy," she says. "We are 100 per cent going there."

Indeed, the main task facing Marcel now is to inject some plot between the endless sex scenes and the constant discussion of what Anastasia will agree to accept from BDSM addict Christian. (BDSM, for those still in the dark, stands for bondage, domination, sadism and masochism.)

To that end, Marcel, whose writing credits include Saving Mr Banks and the TV series Terra Nova, has been working with Fifty Shades author EL James to edit out some of the novel's sex scenes. "We did go through and decide which are our favourites and which are not," she said. "Most of them are in there but I can't say more than that."

Marcel insists her adaptation will not be all about sex. "Regardless of what you may think of the writing, this is a modern love story, involving two complex characters, and that's what I'm interested in," she says.

"I don't care what anybody says, there is something about Christian that is old-fashioned and romantic."

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