"50 Shades of Grey" moved one step closer to its big-screen adaptation Monday with Universal Pictures and its subsidiary Focus Features announcing the hiring of Kelly Marcel to adapt the bestseller into a feature film.
Marcel, 38, is best known for writing the spec script "Saving Mr. Banks," which landed on the Black List in 2011 and is now being turned into a feature film starring Tom Hanks for Universal Pictures. That film centers on the story of Walt Disney’s 20-year pursuit of the film rights to author P.L. Travers’ novel “Mary Poppins” and the rocky relationship that formed between the two.
Hanks is playing Disney; Emma Thompson takes on the role of Travers.
Producer Michael De Luca said in a statement that Marcel's work on "Mr. Banks" demonstrated her "flawless structural technique" and "passionate commitment to emotion, humor and depth of character."
Added producer Dana Brunetti, “We were all taken with the depth and passion of Kelly’s engagement with the characters and world E. L. James has created, and we knew she was the right person to augment our 'Fifty Shades' family."