It’s currently your mother, girlfriend or wife’s favorite book and it’s been slated for months to be turned into a movie by Universal Pictures and Focus Features. Now, E.L. James’ bestselling erotic novel 50 Shades of Grey has itself a couple of producers as Mike De Luca and Dana Brunetti have won the bidding war to produce the film.
The duo who co-produced two Oscar-nominated films, last year’s Moneyball and David Fincher’s The Social Network, were personally picked by James after she met with a number of producers including Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment.
The Vintage Books trilogy have sold 31 million e-book and print copies in English-language markets worldwide. In the U.S. alone, the Fifty Shades trilogy has sold over 20 million copies in e-book and print making it one of the fastest selling book series ever.
“At its core, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is a complex love story, requiring a delicate and sophisticated hand to bring it to the big screen,” said Universal Pictures Co-Chairman Donna Langley. Mike and Danas credits more than exemplify what we need in creative partners and were glad to have them as part of our team.
Michael De Luca is a dream producer, whose combination of vision, taste and fearlessness is the perfect match for Fifty Shades of Grey, said Focus Features’ Chief Executive Officer James Schamus.
I am thrilled that Mike has joined Team Fifty, said E L James. He brings a passion for and in-depth understanding of the characters and story, and a wealth of experience in making quality films.
Dana and I are both grateful and honored to be invited to join this team, said De Luca. We deeply respect and admire the kinds of films Donna, James and Jeb have been responsible for and are very excited to be joining Erika in a collaboration to bring her vision of this once in a lifetime, provocative and resonant love story to the screen.
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 couples deepening relationship.
Now that they have producers, they need to hire writers and a director and cast the primary roles before they’ll be ready to roll forward, but clearly, this is a movie that’s going to be on the fast track for the next year.