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The competition to see who adapts Fifty Shades of Grey for the silver screen is heating up, as Universal Studios and producers Michael De Luca and Dana Bruntetti says they’ve narrowed the field of potential scribes down to four.
Karen Croner, Dan Fogelman, Veena Sud and Kelly Marcel are the four names mentioned in a Hollywood Reporter piece. After rounds of interviews, one of these four likely will be hired to translate E.L. James’ best-selling novel (itself inspired by Twilight fan fiction) to the big screen.
All four writers have screenplays that are in different stages of development as we speak, and each brings a unique voice to the table. Croner recently penned the adaptation of Jean Hanff Korelitz’s Admission, which has become a vehicle for Tina Fey and Paul Rudd. Sud, meanwhile, adapted The Killing for AMC from the original Danish television series, and also was hired to adapt Alfred Hitchcock’s Suspicion into a modern remake.
Marcel made waves writing and producing for FOX’s short-lived Terra Nova. More recently, she wrote the screenplay for John Lee Hancock’s Saving Mr. Banks -- a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Mary Poppins that’s going to star Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell and Emma Thompson.
And then there’s Fogelman, who might be the most recognizable name in the pool, though his genre of choice is far from Fifty Shades territory. While it’s true he contributed to Cars (and its sequel), Bolt and Tangled, Fogelman also penned Crazy Stupid Love, Fred Claus and the upcoming Seth Rogen comedy The Guilt Trip, with Barbra Streisand.
So yes, wildly different voices. We have to wonder what direction Shades is heading, and I think the hiring of whichever screenwriter from this pool will help figure that out. Also, casting is going to be key for the two lead roles, but once a writer is in place, the other dominoes are expected to fall.