Fifty Shades of Grey - How it all started from fan-fiction and turned into a multi-million dollar movie.
Fifty Shades of Grey
was developed from a Twilight
fan fiction series originally titled Master of the Universe
and was published on fan-fiction website under the pen name "Snowqueen's Icedragon". The original version of Fifty Shades of Grey
featured characters named after Stephanie Meyer's characters in Twilight,
Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. The fan-fiction quickly gained a lot of attention due to the level of sexual material in the fan fiction series. James later removed the story from the fan-fiction websites and published it on her own website, FiftyShades.com. Later she rewrote Master of the Universe
as an original piece, with the principal characters renamed Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele and removed it from her website
This reworked and extended version of Master of the Universe
was split into three parts. The first, titled Fifty Shades of Grey,
was released as an e-book and a print on demand paperback in May 2011 by The Writers' Coffee Shop, a virtual publisher based in Australia. The second volume, Fifty Shades Darker,
was released in September 2011; and the third, Fifty Shades Freed,
followed in January 2012.
Fifty Shades of Grey - The controversy
Once, the book was released it stirred a lot of controversy and readers claimed that the book glorified abusive relationships. According to a 2013 study, every interaction between Ana and Christian was emotionally abusive in nature, including stalking, intimidation and isolation. In addition, Christian's use of alcohol to convince Anaa to consent, exhibits classic signs of an abused women.
According to a 2014 study, women who read the Fifty Shades of Grey books were more likely to show signs of an eating disorder, alcoholism and dating emotionally abusive partners. The authors could not conclude whether women already experiencing these problems were drawn to the series, or if the series influenced these behaviors to occur after reading.
Fifty Shades of Grey
had a limited marketing budget when it was released but, ended up doing really well after word of mouth recommendations. On August 2012, Amazon announced that it had sold more copies of Fifty Shades of Grey
than the entire Harry Potter Series combined, making E.L. James its best-selling author, surpassing J.K. Rowling.
Fifty Shades of Grey - The Movie
By 2012, several Hollywood movie studios were fighting to obtain the rights to the Fifty Shades trilogy. Warner Bros., Sony, Paramount and Universal, as well as Mark Wahlberg's production company, put in bids for the film rights, with Universal Pictures and Focus Features eventually securing the rights to the trilogy in March 2012. The author, EL James wanted to retain creative control of the movie and James chose The Social Network
producers Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti to make the feature film. According to Entertainment Weekly
, the movie cost nearly $40 million to make. But, the biggest challenge for the Fifty Shades of Grey
movie came down to the movie's cast. Ian Somerhalder
(The Vampire Diaries) expressed interest in the leading role but, later admitted that filming would have conflicted with The Vampire Diaries
and had dropped out of the race for the lead role
. Ryan Gosling was also offered the lead role in the movie but, the actor revealed he was not interested in the production
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Ultimately, EL James announced that Charlie Hunnam
would lead the cast alongside Dakota Johnson
. Hunnam initially turned down the role of Christian but later reconsidered it following a meeting with studio heads. Hunnam said of the audition process: "I felt really intrigued and excited about it so I went and read the first book to get a clearer idea of who this character was, and I felt even more excited at the prospect of bringing him to life. We [Taylor-Johnson and I] kind of both suggested I do a reading with Dakota, who was her favorite, and as soon as we got in the room and I started reading with Dakota I knew that I definitely wanted to do it. There's just like a tangible chemistry between us. It felt exciting and fun and weird and compelling."
In response to the negative fan reaction the casting received, producer Dana Brunetti
said: "There is a lot that goes into casting that isn't just looks. Talent, availability, their desire to do it, chemistry with other actor, etc. So if your favorite wasn't cast, then it is most likely due to something on that list. Keep that in mind while hating and keep perspective." On October 12, 2013, Universal Pictures announced that Hunnam had exited the film due to conflicts with the schedule of his FX series Sons of Anarchy
. Finally, on October 23, 2013, Jamie Dornan was cast as Christian Grey.
Filming for the Fifty Shades of Grey
has officially wrapped several months ago and movie studios are ramping up their marketing efforts with each poster, trailer, and commercial more seductive and sexual than the last
Universal Pictures and Focus Features' Fifty Shades of Grey hits theaters on February 13, 2015. Do you plan on watching Fifty Shades of Grey in theaters? Tell us what you think in the comments below!