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Well, the inevitable has finally happened. After a bit of a bidding war, Universal has landed the rights to that brand-spanking new book from E.L. James The Mister. That’s a win for a Universal and a win for mankind, or at least the womenkind who are huge fans of the author’s works. Universal and E.L. James also previously teamed up for Fifty Shades of Grey and its two subsequent sequels.
News broke this week that The Mister’s movie rights have been optioned by Universal and this time around E.L. James will also be involved as a producer. Variety mentioned the bidding war, noting that Universal has different persons in charge this time around. So while Donna Langley championed the Fifty Shades movies, Sara Scott and Lexi Barta will be the people on point for The Mister. There may be different ladies involved, but the studio did enough to entice James to sign on the dotted line, much like Christian and Ana's famous contract.
It's worth noting that the last three movies E.L. James and Universal made together ended up making over a billion dollars worldwide. (And were really lucrative for those involved too.) Please note this is all three movies’ box office intake combined together; I’m not trying to state that each movie made a billion all by themselves. Fifty Shades was a popular movie series but not Marvel popular after all.
The same isn’t true of the books, as Fifty Shades of Grey was recently noted as the most popular book of the last decade. Take that comic books!
Still, the new book spent nine months on the New York Times bestseller list and we’ve been writing for months about the possibility of The Mister being made into a movie. Back in April of last year, the author was already admitting there were interested parties. So, really, this project was going to happen. We just didn't know when or where and now we have half those answers.
What I find most interesting about The Mister book is that although it has a totally different premise than Fifty Shades of Grey, it does have a connection to E.L. James’ popular series. In fact, lead character Maxim Trevelyan shares a last name with Christian Grey’s adopted mother Dr. Grace Trevelyan Grey.
So, we know The Mister and Fifty Shades of Grey are set in the same universe. Now, I just need some sort of party scene where Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey cameo. Is that too much to ask? I hope not.
There’s no word on when The Mister movie will get off of the ground. I really liked how the Fifty Shades movies were always timed around Valentine’s Day, however, so maybe that will be the goal this time around as well. First, though, the studio needs a script and needs to start getting a cast together for the upcoming movie.
Once there’s some real traction, we’ll keep the updates coming fast and furiously. Luckily, for now, there’s always the fictional version to rely upon and those are easy and fairly cheap to get your hands on.