Joe Wright is the Front Runner to Direct 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

Joe WrightIt is being reported Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice) is the front runner to direct the feature film adaptation of E.L. James' erotic romance novel Fifty Shades of Grey at Focus Features.

Wright tops a list, which apparently included Bennett Miller (Moneyball), Patty Jenkins (Monster) and Gus Van Sant (Milk), the latter of which shot a sex scene featuring Alex Pettyfer in a bid to direct the erotic thriller.

"Fifty Shades of Grey" began as coveted "Twilight" fan fiction and follows the relationship of 27-year-old billionaire Christian Grey and college student Anastasia Steele. It was reported the scene Van Sant shot was the moment Anastasia loses her virginity to Grey.

As for Wright, four of his five feature films have been distributed by Focus and three of those four have also featured Keira Knightley, which is sure to spark immediate speculation as to whether or not the actress will once again reunite with her Anna Karenina helmer.

The Wrap's Jeff Sneider adds to his report that producers Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti favor British director Wright.

Here's the synopsis for the book, which you can order from Amazon right here.

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

  • andyluvsfilms

    this will be a pass but i guess all the women will go see

    • sofasobad

      Hey, don't be so patronising. There are plenty of women who think the book is a crock of shit (without, of course, having read it, but you don't need to). I will think the less of Joe Wright if he takes this on.

  • Kieran


  • Ryguy815

    Ugh, no interest in this at all

  • Adu

    If Joe Wright is selected, I will definitely be anitipicating this at a higher level.

  • Winchester

    I would have thought any self respecting director would run to the hills instead.

    • Yaz Rabadi

      Money to be made. Expectations to defy.

  • John D.

    Honestly if the studio wants to bring legitimacy to this project this is the way to do it. I think Wright is a fine choice, but I can't help but imagine that the title alone is going to turn a lot of people off to the film. I know most of America was reading this book at one point or another but now it's almost a joke. They might as well use "Gangnam Style" in the trailer. Wait, now I want to see this trailer...

  • Newbourne

    When you mentioned Gus Van Sant, I accidentally got confused with Dustin Lance Black. I was wondering why Dustin Lance Black would want to direct this film when he has focused exclusively on gay-themed works his entire career. Milk, 8, J. Edgar, Hollywood to Dollywood, Pedro, etc. I understand that he relates to the issue more than anything, but it says a lot when I'm actually confused instead of excited that he would branch out to another type of film. Anyway, I then quickly realized that we're talking about Psycho/Paranoid Park/Finding Forrester GVS here.

    I'd prefer it if they went with Patty Jenkins. Miller, GVS and Wright are all too good for this. They should concentrate on other works.

  • Matt

    I have no interest in a "Fifty Shades" movie, but if Joe Wright directs it I have to admit I'd probably check it out. He's a really talented director and could elevate the material to a point where it is actually tolerable.

    That being said, I just don't think this is going to happen. I just can't imagine a well respected director taking on what is essentially the "Basic Instinct" of this generation.

  • Jake17

    Somehow I still don't give a shit about this project. I hope Wright and Miller run far away from this project.