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They're still theoretically gunning for that August 1, 2014 release date, but the Fifty Shades of Grey production team has given in at least a little to their scrambled schedule and pushed back the start of production on the wildly popular book's adaptation. According to THR the shoot, which was scheduled to begin early next month, will now kick off on December 2, giving newly hired star Jamie Dornan a few extra months to do pushups and get in proper hunk-ified shape.
On top of that, Variety reports that Mark Bomback, who most recently worked on the script for The Wolverine, has been brought on to polish the script, originally put together by Kelly Marcel. It's been only two weeks since Patrick Marber was also hired to do a pass at the script, which suggests that the rush toward production means a lot of people are scrambling to get the story in manageable shape. Imagine that!
Dakota Johnson, who was hired back in September for the lead role of Anastasia, is still on board, as is director Sam Taylor-Johnson; there's got to be some joke about how it's the women who stay put and the men who keep rotating in and out on this female-targeted project, but I haven't read Fifty Shades of Grey and I'm worried I'll walk into a joke way dirtier than intended.
As much discussion as the movie has inspired in the last few weeks since Charlie Hunnam's departure, this remains a bizarrely delayed adaptation of a book that was white-hot when Universal and Focus Features acquired the rights a year and a half ago. When the film arrives next summer-- that is, if it does miraculously manage to start production a mere 8 months before its release date-- it will be nearly three years away from its peak of popularity. A rushed production, source material past its prime, a leading man who was far from the first choice-- it's unkind and unfair to call movies a disaster before they premiere, but this one sure has a hell of a hole to dig its way out of before August 1 next year.