Thousands of people will probably be willing to go and see “Fifty Shades of Grey” in movie theaters, but if the film is as raunchy as the book, some of its younger fans can’t be admitted to those theaters. Since Charlie Hunnam was announced as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson was cast as Anastasia Steele, fans of the erotic novel have began to wonder about how the kinky sadomasochistic scenes will play out on the big screen.
Based on what the “Fifty Shades” film team has revealed, the movie will be produced at an R-rated or “restricted” level, as opposed to an NC-17 level, which is a Motion Picture Association of America rating that would prohibit anyone under the age of 17 from being admitted to the theater.
“Historically, the NC-17 rating has dramatically impacted box office. It’s the kiss of death in most cases,” said Kirby Dick, director of “This Film Is Not Yet Rated,” according to USA Today.
The crucial point will be for “Fifty Shades” director Sam Taylor-Johnson to find the perfect balance, indicated Melissa Silverstein, editor of the Women and Hollywood blog on indiewire.com. “That’s the $1,000 question. Are they going to push things to a different level?” USA Today quoted Silverstein as saying. “She is going to have to walk a very fine line.”
However, it is possible more-risque scenes could be filmed for a special released on DVD in an unrated version, the news site added.
Just because someone likes to read about S&M in a book doesn’t necessarily mean he or she is comfortable watching it in a movie theater packed with strangers. “Twilight” director Catherine Hardwicke cautioned the “Fifty Shades” team to hold back on some of the sex. Cited by USA Today, Hardwicke said of an early screening of her sexually charged soon-to-be-released thriller “Plush”: “People were surprised to see something so sexual. I thought after the success of [the novel] ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ that people would be totally excited to see it. But it was too intense. It’s a whole different feeling on the screen.” She added, “In the end, people are still uptight and nervous about sexuality in movies.”
“Fifty Shades of Grey” is set to debut in theaters next Aug. 1, and its official trailer is rumored to premiere during the Super Bowl next Feb. 2.