‘SNL’: ‘50 Shades OF Grey’ Screentests

By | Sunday October 6, 2013 @ 8:09am PDT

Auditions for 50 Shades Of Grey by Seth Rogen, Emma Stone, Christoph Waltz, Scarlett Johannsen. You get the picture…

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‘50 Shades Of Grey’ In Red And White: EL James Expands Her Empire To Wines

By | Monday September 23, 2013 @ 8:47pm PDT

50 Shades of Grey wine50 Shades of Grey wineHere’s a way for breathless fans to pass some time as they wait for the movie. … Read More »

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Shifting Gears, ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Scribe Kelly Marcel Tries ‘The Little Mermaid’

By | Monday June 10, 2013 @ 4:50pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Kelly Marcel, who got the job of adapting 50 Shades Of Grey off of the character work in her script Saving Mr. Banks, also is showing versatility. She is going from adapting that EL James best-seller’s steamy S&M love story to a whole different kettle of fish. Marcel is making a deal to rewrite The Little Mermaid for director Joe Wright and Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.

Several scribes have worked on the adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson fable, including Abi Morgan (Shame). There is some irony in Marcel being tapped for this gig. Recently it was widely reported that Wright had all but nailed down the job of directing 50 Shades Of Grey, but the studio denied it; for one thing, Wright has scheduling issues that will make it impossible. Now, the director gets to work with Fifty Shades scribe Marcel, only on a much less racy project. Read More »

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Cannes: Focus Features Re-Ups James Schamus, Promotes Andrew Karpen To Co-CEO Post

Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Since forming 11 years ago, Focus Features has been a relative bastion of stability. That will remain so as CEO James Schamus has re-upped for a new term, and Andrew Karpen, president since 2006, has been promoted to co-CEO. Schamus will remain a creative catalyst for the company, while Karpen  oversees the global business strategy for the company and will continue to spearhead the company’s digital initiatives. Together, they run all aspects of the company, including acquisitions and worldwide production, marketing, and distribution. Karpen continues to report to Schamus, who hatched the label with David Linde in 2002. Schamus reports to Universal co-chairman Donna Langley.

These are stand-up guys who come to the Croisette with the hottest project in Hollywood, and one which they are not selling here, at least not yet. That’s 50 Shades Of Grey, the adaptation of the steamy novel that has sold 70 million copies worldwide, and which Langley won in a huge multi-million dollar bidding battle, and then placed it with taste-maker label Focus, to be produced by Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca. That project is still forming and while there might be some hot and bothered whispering here at the Croisette (it’s unclear whether its partner, Universal, will let any territories go), the focus here for International head of Distribution and Sales Alison Thompson is on Mike Leigh’s new film, which stars Timothy Spall as the painter J.M.W. Turner; the Asif Kapadia-directed docu on Amy Winehouse; and new Focus titles that the Michael Cuesta-directed fact-based thriller Kill The Messenger with Jeremy Renner, and the Andrew MacDonald-directed undersea adventure film Black Sea with Jude Law. FFI will also world premiere Ruairi Robinson’s thriller The Last Days On Mars, starring Liev Schreiber, Olivia Williams, and Romola Garai in the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight section. Read More »

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Producer Nina Jacobson Denies Variety’s 50 Shades Of Bullshit

By | Sunday June 17, 2012 @ 2:39pm PDT

One of the main reasons Variety is currently for sale is that it’s no longer read by the Hollywood community. And one of the main reasons for that is because it’s no longer trusted by the Hollywood community. … Read More »

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Miss Out On 2012′s Hottest Book Buy ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey?’ The Parody ‘Fifty Shames Of Earl Grey’ Now Being Shopped

By | Wednesday March 28, 2012 @ 12:26pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Fifty Shames Of Earl GreyEver since Deadline broke the story that Universal Pictures and Focus Features won screen rights to the E.L. James novel Fifty Shades Of Grey for in the neighborhood of $4 million against 5% of first dollar gross, the line of suitors who didn’t get it are treating it like the Lord Voldemort of auction titles — it’s the missed opportunity whose name must not be spoken. While buyers have moved on to the possible book franchise of the moment — Lissa Price’s YA body-switching title Starters – there might be another bite at the forbidden fruit of that S&M romance novel, which started as Twilight fan fiction, was rewritten by the author as an erotic romance trilogy, and became an e-book sensation that sparked multiple millions in publishing and film deals.

Related: ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Has Hollywood Carpooling Read More »

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9 Suitors Trying To Get In Bed With ’50 Shades Of Grey’

By | Friday March 23, 2012 @ 1:02pm PDT
Mike Fleming

50 Shades Of Grey E.L. JamesEXCLUSIVE: The auction is underway for author E.L. James’ steam potboiler 50 Shades of Grey. I’m told that offer sheets went out this morning. They include a strong list of approvals that studios usually don’t … Read More »

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No Problem, We’ll Come To You! ‘50 Shades Of Grey’ Has Hollywood Carpooling

By | Thursday March 22, 2012 @ 4:22pm PDT
Mike Fleming

With Foreplay Almost Over, Will Steamy Novel ’50 Shades Of Grey’ Climax In 7-Figure Deal?

50 Shades Of Grey E.L. JamesThe stampede of studios, monied production companies and producers that want to get a piece of 50 Shades of GreyRead More »

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With Foreplay Almost Over, Will Steamy Novel ’50 Shades Of Grey’ Climax In 7-Figure Movie Deal?

By | Tuesday March 20, 2012 @ 1:53pm PDT
Mike Fleming

By Thursday, author E.L. James and her British lit agent Valerie Hoskins will have completed a surreal round of meetings with the heads of studios, monied production companies and top producers for screen rights to 50 Shades of Grey. The … Read More »

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