EL James's tale of bondage and domination has become the fastest-selling book of the year, prompting a rush among publishers to develop their own take on the emerging "mommy porn" phenomenon. Studio Universal won the screen rights in March and plans a trilogy based on the novel and its two sequels. Angelina Jolie was at one point tipped to direct following the critical success of her debut film In the Land of Blood and Honey. Easton Ellis, however, has other ideas.
"I think David Cronenberg is a great idea for directing Fifty Shades of Grey and we worked together on American Psycho in its initial phase," he tweeted. "I'm putting myself out there to write the movie adaptation … This is not a joke. Christian Grey and Ana: potentially great cinematic characters."
Easton Ellis said Alexander Skarsgård, Alex Pettyfer, Aaron Johnson or Ryan Gosling would be his picks to play Christian, a billionaire businessman who invites a young virgin to become his sex slave. For Ana, the object of the latter's dubious affections, Ellis touted Scarlett Johansson or Kristen Stewart.
Fifty Shades of Grey began life as fan fiction set in the Twilight universe, which has prompted a degree of criticism from reviewers.
Despite the gaudy nature of its prose – "he's my very own Christian Grey-flavoured popsicle" and "my inner goddess is doing the merengue with some salsa moves" are oft-quoted examples – the book has proven hugely popular. Taken together with sequels Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Free, the series has sold around 10m copies worldwide, topping bestseller lists in both the US and UK.
Many of Easton Ellis's initial tweets on the matter appear to have been deleted, but his interest appears to be genuine even if the writer is known as a satirist with meandering objectives. Earlier this year he revealed on Twitter that he was planning a sequel to his best-known book, American Psycho, in which psychopathic protagonist Patrick Bateman has moved to work as a hedge fund manager in LA, where he reveals his worship for Coldplay (rather than Phil Collins and Huey Lewis in the original) and love for the film The Help, as well as hatred for Obama but adoration for Kim Kardashian and Michael Hutchence. He also murders David Beckham in an elevator and stalks Bush singer Gavin Rossdale in West Hollywood.
Easton Ellis has ventured into screenwriting in the past with limited success. His script for American Psycho was never used, producers plumping instead for the screenplay by director Mary Harron and Guinevere Turner which formed the basis of the former's critically-acclaimed 2000 film. (Still almost every line in the movie spoken by Bateman is a direct lift from Easton Ellis's 1991 novel about a rampaging New York serial killer.) He also wrote the screenplay for 2008's The Informers, based on his own novel, and worked on the script for the upcoming high school-set horror Downers Grove, based on Michael Hornburg's novel.
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