Fans of EL James’ steamy Fifty Shades of Grey who are eagerly awaiting news on the announced adaptation are about to overdose on three very positive bits of news, starting with this: The movie might be in theaters as soon as summer 2014.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Universal Studios chair Adam Fogelson updated the trade on a few key projects in the studio’s pipeline, from a Snow White and the Huntsman sequel to the inevitable Fifty Shades film. And while there haven’t been any significant hires in terms of a director or casting, Fogelson – who assumed his position in 2009 – says that Fifty Shades remains “an absolute priority” for Universal.
“I don't believe that [author EL James] had any interest in going to a studio where rushing it into production was the vision,” he said. “I don't believe that the second or third film would have benefited from that strategy. And I think that there are totally legitimate questions about what this book is as a movie. I will tell you that it is an absolute priority for us. It's conceivable that we could be ready to release it as early as next summer.”
The best news in that quote is that Universal isn’t trying to sprint through production to capitalize on the book’s buzz. By taking its time, Universal likely is giving itself the better opportunity to make a strong movie, and not a reaction piece to a red-hot piece of literature.
Fogelson, however, shot down rumors that Angelina Jolie was approached to direct Fifty Shades of Grey, as once was rumored. “We're involved in a different project [the World War II drama Unbroken] with her. But we have had really, really interesting, great conversations with talented, serious filmmakers.”
Yes, we wonder to whom he’s referring, as well. But if Universal wants the adaptation in theaters next summer we’re bound to hear some movement very soon. Is Mila Kunis serious when she hints at her interest? And who might direct? Answers are coming, and likely soon.