SAM TAYLOR-JOHNSON TO DIRECT UNIVERSAL PICTURES
AND FOCUS FEATURES’ FILM ADAPTATION OF
“FIFTY SHADES OF GREY”
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA, June 19, 2013—Universal Pictures and Focus Features today announced that Sam Taylor-Johnson will direct the highly anticipated film adaptation of “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti are producing the film based on E L James’ #1 bestselling book, alongside James. The announcement was made by Universal Pictures Co-Chairman, Donna Langley and Focus Features’ Chief Executive Officer, James Schamus.
“Sam’s unique ability to gracefully showcase complex relationships dealing with love, emotion and sexual chemistry make her the ideal director to bring Christian and Anastasia’s relationship to life,” said De Luca. “E L James’ characters and vivid storytelling require a director who is willing to take risks and push the envelope where needed and Sam is a natural fit.”
Taylor-Johnson most recently directed 2009’s Nowhere Boy, the story of John Lennon’s childhood in Liverpool, where his fledgling genius found a kindred spirit in the teenage Paul McCartney. The film garnered two BAFTA nominations, including “Outstanding British Film” and “Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer.” Taylor-Johnson also directed the critically acclaimed short Love You More which was nominated for the Palme D’Or in 2008. She is currently in development on a film for Columbia Pictures based on the novel by Robert Goorlick, “A Reliable Wife,” which is also being produced by De Luca.
“I am excited to be charged with the evolution of Fifty Shades of Grey from page to screen,” said Taylor-Johnson. “For the legions of fans, I want to say that I will honor the power of Erika’s book and the characters of Christian and Anastasia. They are under my skin too.”
Universal Pictures and Focus Features acquired the rights to the three books in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy in March 2012. Focus Features will market and distribute the first film in partnership with Universal. “Fifty Shades of Grey” has become a global phenomenon and the trilogy has been translated in 50 languages worldwide since its release. To date, the “Fifty Shades” trilogy has sold over 70 million copies worldwide in e-book and print, making it one of the fastest selling book series ever.
“Fifty Shades of Grey” follows the relationship of 27-year-old billionaire Christian Grey and college student Anastasia Steele. Subsequent novels in the series, “Fifty Shades Darker” (September 2011) and “Fifty Shades Freed” (January 2012) explore the couple’s deepening relationship. For more information please see the official Fifty Shades of Grey Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/fiftyshadesofgreymovie.
Taylor-Johnson is represented by WME, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and attorneys Sloane, Offer, Weber, Dern.
About Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures is a division of Universal Studios (www.universalstudios.com). Universal Studios is part of NBCUniversal. NBCUniversal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group and world-renowned theme parks. Comcast Corporation owns a controlling 51% interest in NBCUniversal, with GE holding a 49% stake.
About Focus Features
Focus Features and Focus Features International (www.focusfeatures.com) comprise a singular global company. This worldwide studio makes original and daring films that challenge the mainstream to embrace and enjoy voices and visions from around the world that deliver global commercial success. The company operates as Focus Features in North America and as Focus Features International (FFI) in the rest of the world; and is celebrating its 10th Anniversary in 2012.
Focus Features and FFI are part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. Comcast Corporation owns a controlling 51% interest in NBCUniversal, with GE holding a 49% stake.