‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Gets New Director? Joe Wright Emerging As The Front-Runner

Knightley And Wright
Joe Wright, pictured here with Keira Knightley, could be directing the "Fifty Shades of Grey" movie. Reuters

“Fifty Shades of Grey” may soon have its director as Joe Wright appears to be the favorite to land the coveted gig, according to several sources.

The “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie has faced plenty of fantasy casting since Universal Pictures announced it bought the rights to adapt the E.L. James best-seller. Besides rumors of actors to play Christian Grey and actresses, such as Emma Watson, to play Anastasia Steele, few details have circulated, and Universal Pictures has provided no information about the “mommy porn” adaptation’s progress other than Kelly Marcel serving as screenwriter for the project.

With few concrete details to work with, the speculation has run rampant, and, while casting Grey and Steele have occupied much of the public’s imagination, securing a director is just as vital for “Fifty Shades of Grey,” and it appears as though Wright may be the favorite to helm the potential blockbuster.

The Hollywood Reporter notes that Wright, the British director behind “Anna Karenina,” “Hannah,” “Atonement” and “Pride & Prejudice,” is the leading candidate to direct “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Universal paid big money for the adaptation rights, THR says the price was around $5 million, and the movie will be developed jointly by Universal and Focus Features.

With Wright having previous success with Focus, directing the four aforementioned films for the studio, it seems as though the director would be a good bet to land the job, especially if Universal wants to release the film by next summer as previous reports have indicated.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” is almost assured to be a box office hit, and having the film on one’s resume would be great leverage for future roles. Numerous directors have been rumored to be in the lead for the role, and, most recently, it was rumored Gus Van Sant (“Good Will Hunting”) took it upon himself to shoot a test sex scene starring Alex Pettyfer (“Magic Mike”) in hopes of landing the job, the Wrap reports.

The rise of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” from Internet “Twilight” fan fiction to New York Times Best-seller to potential Hollywood blockbuster, has been staggering as has the subgenre, dubbed “mommy porn,” that has risen in the wake of the novel’s success.

With Wright’s previous history, it seems the director is an ideal candidate for “Fifty Shades of Grey,” and, if Universal wants the movie to premiere in 2014, real casting news could be announced soon.

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