Screenwriter Kelly Marcel Talks ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Film

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Kelly Marcel

The British screenwriter of Fifty Shades of Grey, Kelly Marcel has given an interview to The Sunday Times where she talks candidly about the film adaptation of E L James' racy story about a torrid love affair between a college student, Anastasia Steele, and mysterious billionaire, Christian Grey. The writer opened up about her approach to writing the script, the films rating, and all of those crazy casting rumours.

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.

Universal and Focus snapped up the film rights for Fifty Shades of Grey for $5 million in March 2012 after a heated Hollywood bidding war. Marcel confirmed that the film – which is being co-produced by Dana Brunetti, who brought us The Social Network, and James herself – will be rated NC-17 (18 in the UK). Although she admits some of the sex scenes have been edited in order to get some plot in she assures fans it would stay true to its “raunchy” roots.

It’s going to be raunchy. We are 100% going there. We did go through and decide which are our favourites and which are not. Most of them are in there, but I can’t say more than that.

Sounds good so far. Marcel, the co-creator of Steven Spielberg's sci-fi TV series Terra Nova, also mentioned how she's had to take measures to keep the script top secret.

There are shredders arriving at my house at this moment because in LA my trash was gone through. Who is playing Christian, who is playing Ana – seriously, people are rabid about this thing.

Although casting rumours are rife, the screenwriter insists no actors will sign up until there is a finished script.

No actor would sign up to a film without a script. That would be insane.

Ultimately, Marcel wants to please the fans and has made that a priority.

The fans love this book, and I want them to love the film as much. I want to make them laugh and cry, to turn them on. I want this to do everything.

Marcel recently wrote the script for Saving Mr Banks, about Disney's 20-year pursuit of the film rights to Mary Poppins, starring Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks. She also did the rewrite on Bronson with British actor Tom Hardy, who wears a tattoo on his upper arm "Skribe" dedicated to Marcel (the "K" is for Kelly). Rumours have swirled that Hardy is a shoe-in for a role in the highly anticipated film. 

What do you think of Kelly Marcel's approach to the Fifty Shades of Grey script? Are you confident she can deliver?


  • smalltowngirl Sunday, 06 January 2013

    I definitely like what she's saying - it sounds like she's trying to stay as true to the original book and story as possible!!! I was discussing the NC-17 part on the forum just a few minutes ago. The producers had initially said this movie would be R-rated. As I said in the forum, I have no problem with it being NC-17 - I mean, the books were definitely NC-17, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading them!!! I will see the movie, no matter what the rating is. However, the movie being NC-17 will knock out a lot of venues in which to show this movie, with many theaters being unwilling to show anything NC-17 - I myself, as a small town girl, would probably have to drive 1-2 hours to get to a movie theater that would show an NC-17 movie. I know my local theaters wouldn't show it. I know that the movie team wants a well-made movie, but they also want to make as much money as possible. The Twilight team made sure to keep that PG-13 rating so that they could keep a huge chunk of their audience, even editing some of the Edward/Bella honeymoon scene to avoid that R rating. It will be interesting to see if the movie actually does get rated NC-17!!!

  • Genesis Carvajal Sunday, 06 January 2013

    I'm sure their efficiency, she has already written a good script for the incredible film like Saving Mr Banks. I'm so excited for the movie, I will love as much as I love the books. Thanks for publishing

  • Libee7 Sunday, 06 January 2013

    So glad to hear they're keeping the movie "raunchy"... I agree with smalltowngirl that the NC17 rating may keep it out of some theaters but if they're smart, they'll release the movie regardless of the rating. I mean the fans will go see it, they'll just take their money elsewhere. Great news moving forward with the movie! I can't wait.

  • Bookenz Sunday, 06 January 2013

    I like her approach to the film and am even more excited now to see it. She "gets" it.

  • Flower Monday, 07 January 2013

    Ian Somerhalder is Christian Grey

  • Inge Monday, 07 January 2013

    I think so too, Ian is Christian.

  • opwijk72 Monday, 07 January 2013

    I am excited to see the movie. I think Ian will be the perfect Christian and even Eva the perfect Ana. They know each other "very well".

  • greySSub Thursday, 10 January 2013

    NC-17? Yes, please, and thank you!!!!!

  • impatiently waiting...... Friday, 22 February 2013

    First, I like what we're hearing, staying true to the book as much as possible. She knows what the fans want & are expecting. Second, PLEASSSEEEEE cast Ian Somerhalder as Christian. I mean, come on, he's got it all - he IS the perfect Christian Grey. Gorgeous eyes, hair, body, OMG .There are a few actors out there that I like for Ana. Kate, Ethan, Jose, Jack & Taylor are also key actors that have to be carefully chosen. Third, I CAN"T WAIT for the movie!!! Summer of 2014????!!!!! You're killing us:( Please , we can't wait that long!!!!!!!! Do I hear fall of 2013?! :) and I agree with greySSub: NC-17 yes, please and thank you :)

  • impatiently waiting.. Friday, 22 February 2013

    oh, one more suggestion, NO TWILIGHT ACTORS - sorry fans - had enough of it.

  • Catreena Thursday, 27 June 2013

    I think Alex Pettyfer (sp?) will be cast as Christain Grey, just my thought or possibly some unknown actor.

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