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'Fifty Shades of Grey' announces director: Sam Taylor-Johnson

June 19, 2013|By Nicole Sperling
  • This file combo made of book cover images provided by Vintage Books shows the "Fifty Shades of Grey" trilogy by bestselling author E L James.
This file combo made of book cover images provided by Vintage Books shows… (Vintage Books )

Yet another British woman has joined the "Fifty Shades of Grey" filmmaking team. Author E.L. James announced on her Twitter feed that Sam Taylor-Johnson will direct the adaptation of the steamy romance novel for Universal Pictures and Focus Features.

Said James on her feed, "I'm delighted & thrilled to let you guys know that Sam Taylor-Johnson has agreed to direct the film of 'Fifty Shades of Grey.'"

Taylor-Johnson, 46, is best known for her 2009 indie film "Nowhere Boy," which chronicles John Lennon's childhood.

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The filmmaker also became the center of British tabloid attention when she had a baby and later married the young star of that movie, Aaron Johnson, 23 years her junior. Their steamy romance perhaps makes her the perfect choice for the job.

“I am excited to be charged with the evolution of 'Fifty Shades of Grey' from page to screen,” said Taylor-Johnson in a statement. “For the legions of fans, I want to say that I will honor the power of Erika’s book and the characters of Christian and Anastasia. They are under my skin too.”

Taylor-Johnson joins British screenwriter Kelly Marcel, who penned the first draft of the script, and producers Mike De Luca and Dana Brunetti, who have been working feverishly for months to secure a director. "Promised Land" helmer Gus Van Sant eagerly lobbied for the job, while "Anna Karenina" director Joe Wright turned down the gig.

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“Sam’s unique ability to gracefully showcase complex relationships dealing with love, emotion and sexual chemistry make her the ideal director to bring Christian and Anastasia’s relationship to life,” De Luca added. “E.L. James’ characters and vivid storytelling require a director who is willing to take risks and push the envelope where needed, and Sam is a natural fit.”

Now the first question on everyone's minds is whether she'll cast her young husband in the role of domineering billionaire Christian Grey.

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