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Sam Taylor-Johnson to direct Fifty Shades of Grey

Sam Taylor-Wood directs Nowhere Boy

Story by Jack Foley

SAM Taylor-Johnson is to direct Fifty Shades of Grey, the much talked about adaptation of the best-selling erotic novel by EL James.

The news was revealed by the author herself via Twitter on Wednesday (June 19, 2013) and was followed by an announcement from Universal Pictures co-chairman Donna Langley and Focus Features CEO James Schamus.

Producer Michael De Luca said in a statement: “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.

“EL 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.”

In book form, Fifty Shades of Grey follows literature student Anastasia Steele as she meets a handsome, yet tormented, billionaire named Christian Grey and becomes involved in sexual adventure and perversity.

The three Fifty Shades novels have sold more than 70 million copies in ebook and print.

Universal and Focus Features subsequently acquired the movie rights for a massive $5 million and hired writer Kelly Marcel to fashion a script for the first movie.

Johnson’s appointment as director ends months of speculation about who would take the hot seat and is now sure to fuel further rumours about who might now be cast in the two lead roles.

She has previously directed Nowhere Boy, a 2009 drama about John Lennon’s childhood in Liverpool. And she is also developing a film for Columbia based on the novel A Reliable Wife, by Robert Goolrick.

She is married to Kick-Ass star Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who starred in Nowhere Boy.

Taylor-Johnson herself commented in a statement: “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 honour the power of Erika’s book and the characters of Christian and Anastasia. They are under my skin too.”

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