The big screen adaptation of E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey is surely going to be at the center of a good deal of controversy between now and its release in theaters this February - but the most recent case comes to us from England, where a risque promotion for the movie featuring the still below has caused a bit of a stir.
To promote the fact that tickets are now on sale to see Fifty Shades of Grey, the Welwyn Garden City cinema in Hertfordshire, UK posted a large banner outside of their theater promoting the movie, but, according to the Welwyn Hatfield Times, public outcry has led to the advertisement being pulled down. While we can't show you an image of the actual ad, the image that was used comes directly from the trailer and features the image you see above of a seemingly-naked Dakota Johnson blindfolded on a bed. Just imagine that still surrounded by a bit of text promoting the theater.
While it is somewhat understandable why some people might find this image to be a bit too risque for public display, I imagine that fans of the Fifty Shades of Grey novel may actually wind up finding this news kind of funny. After all, the book has been painted as being practically pornographic, and by relative terms the image above is actually rather tame.
So what does it mean if Fifty Shades of Grey can't be a little bit overt with its sexuality in its marketing? It may mean that the rest of the art campaign could merely consist of images of Jamie Dornan's Christian Grey standing in his office looking out the window:
Really, though, this should be seen by the folks at Focus Features and Universal Pictures to get a bit creative with their marketing. Can't show overt or overly suggestive images of sex and/or nudity? Start getting a bit symbolic and clever! Thanks to the widespread popularity of the books, people really already know what to expect from Fifty Shades of Grey, and many have a probably already made up their minds about whether or not they want to see it - so a more subtle, creative ad campaign can really only help the film's cause.
Fifty Shades of Grey, which is directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and is based on a script by Saving Mr. Banks screenwriter Kelly Marcel, will be in theaters for all the couples in the country to see on Valentine's Day weekend 2015.