Fifty Shades of Grey is a 2015 British-American erotic romantic drama film directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson with a screenplay by Kelly Marcel. The film is based on the 2011 novel of the same name by British author E. L. James. It stars Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele and Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey. Steele is a college graduate who begins a sadomasochistic relationship with young business magnate Grey.
The film premiered at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival on February 11, 2015, and had a wide theatrical release on February 13, 2015, by Universal Pictures. Despite mixed reviews, it was an immediate box office success, breaking numerous box office records and earning over $569 million worldwide. It is currently the seventh-highest-grossing film of 2015.
Its sequels, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, are scheduled to be released on February 10, 2017, and February 9, 2018 respectively.
Twenty-one-year-old Anastasia "Ana" Steele (Dakota Johnson) is an English literature major at Washington State University's satellite campus near Vancouver, Washington. Her roommate, Kate Kavanagh (Eloise Mumford), becomes ill and is unable to interview Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), a 27-year-old billionaire entrepreneur, for the college newspaper. Ana agrees to go in her place and meets Christian at his Seattle headquarters, literally stumbling her way through the meeting. Christian, who is that year's WSU's commencement speaker, takes an interest in her; soon after, he visits the hardware store where Ana works. He agrees to Ana's request for a photo-shoot to accompany the article.
After the photo-shoot, Christian invites Ana for coffee, but he leaves abruptly, saying he is not the man for her. Christian later sends Ana first edition copies of two Thomas Hardy novels, including Tess of the d'Urbervilles, as a gift. Ana and her friends celebrate graduation, and, after drinking too much, Ana spontaneously calls Christian saying she is returning the books and berating his behavior towards her. Concerned, he goes to the bar to find Ana, who passes out. She wakes up the next morning in Christian's hotel room and is relieved when he says they were not intimate.
Ana and Christian begin seeing each other, though he insists that she sign a non-disclosure agreement preventing her from revealing details about their alliance. Christian explains that he only has interrelations involving bondage that is clearly defined in a signed contract. Ana reveals that she is a virgin. While considering the agreement and negotiating her own terms, she and Christian engage in some of Christian's desired sexual practices.
Christian bestows Ana with gifts and favors, such as a new car and laptop computer. After Ana and Kate move to Seattle, Ana grows closer to Christian. One night, she accompanies him to his parents' house. During dinner, Ana suddenly mentions she is leaving the next day to visit her mother in Georgia. Later, Christian becomes frustrated when Ana expresses she wants romance rather than the one-sided relationship he proposes. She is shocked when Christian unexpectedly arrives in Georgia. He leaves soon after to tend to an emergency in Seattle.
After returning home, Ana continues seeing Christian, who still wants further sexual experimentation. Ana initially consents and participates willingly. Christian, however, keeps Ana emotionally distant, upsetting her. While still considering the contract, and in an effort to understand Christian psychologically, Ana asks him to demonstrate how he would "punish" her for rule breaking. Christian whips Ana's buttocks six times with a belt, making her count out each strike. When he attempts to help her up, she angrily shoves him away, upset and disgusted. It is far from Ana's romantic expectations, and she leaves after concluding that Christian is wrong for her and that his practices border on being deviant and excessive.
In an alternate ending, both Ana and Christian experience flashbacks. Christian jogs in the rain, whilst Ana sobs in her apartment. Christian encounters a gift Ana gave him with a note which read, "This reminded me of a happy time. -Ana".
- Dakota Johnson as Anastasia "Ana" Steele
- Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- Eloise Mumford as Katherine "Kate" Kavanagh
- Luke Grimes as Elliot Grey
- Victor Rasuk as José Rodriguez, Jr.
- Jennifer Ehle as Carla Wilkes, Anastasia's mother
- Max Martini as Jason Taylor, Grey's bodyguard
In early 2012, it was announced that there was professional interest in a film production of the Fifty Shades trilogy. Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, Paramount, Universal Pictures, as well as Mark Wahlberg's production company all put in bids for the film rights, with Universal Pictures and Focus Features eventually securing the rights to the trilogy in March 2012. Author James sought to retain some control during the movie's creative process. The Social Network producers Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti signed on to produce the film, having been hand-picked by E. L. James, meaning that the finalized list of production companies ended up being Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Michael De Luca Productions, and the company jointly founded by Brunetti and Kevin Spacey, Trigger Street Productions, with Universal also acting as distributors. Although American Psycho writer Bret Easton Ellis publicly expressed his desire to write the screenplay for the film, Kelly Marcel, screenwriter of Saving Mr. Banks, was hired for the job. Patrick Marber has been brought in by director Taylor-Wood to polish the screenplay, specifically to do some “character work”. Mark Bomback has been hired by Universal for script doctoring. The movie budget is $40 million dollars.
By May 9, 2013, the studio was considering Joe Wright to direct, but this proved unworkable due to Wright's schedule. Other directors who had been under consideration included Patty Jenkins, Bill Condon, Bennett Miller, and Steven Soderbergh was also considered. In June 2013, E. L. James announced Sam Taylor-Wood would direct the film adaptation.
James herself had expressed that she felt that casting Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart would be "strange" and "weird". However, Ellis stated that Pattinson was James's first choice for the role of Christian Grey. Several actors and actresses such as Ian Somerhalder, Matt Bomer, Henry Cavill, Chace Crawford, and Alexis Bledel had been named as expressing an interest in acting in the film as Christian and Anastasia,. Somerhalder later admitted if he had been considered, the filming process would ultimately have conflicted with his shooting schedule for the CW series The Vampire Diaries. On September 2, 2013, author E. L. James revealed on her Twitter account that Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson had been cast as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in the upcoming film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. The short list of other actresses considered for the role of Anastasia reportedly included Alicia Vikander, Imogen Poots, Elizabeth Olsen, Shailene Woodley, and Felicity Jones. Sources say Jones turned down the role because she did not want to do a full frontal while others say that despite having "look and the ability", she was "too old". Woodley was reportedly "not afraid of the nudity" the film would require, but that she would have "conflicting press obligations" for her film Divergent.
According to the The Hollywood Reporter, Ryan Gosling was "the original prototype" for Christian, but he was not interested in the role. Garrett Hedlund reportedly turned down the part, not wanting to commit to a possible trilogy. Stephen Amell also said no because he didn't like the character of Christian Grey. Hunnam initially turned down the role of Christian but later reconsidered it following a meeting with studio heads. Hunnam said of the audition process: "I felt really intrigued and excited about it so I went and read the first book to get a clearer idea of who this character was, and I felt even more excited at the prospect of bringing him to life. We [Taylor-Johnson and I] kind of both suggested I do a reading with Dakota, who was her favorite, and as soon as we got in the room and I started reading with Dakota I knew that I definitely wanted to do it. There's just like a tangible chemistry between us. It felt exciting and fun and weird and compelling." In response to the negative fan reaction the casting drew, producer Dana Brunetti said: "There is a lot that goes into casting that isn't just looks. Talent, availability, their desire to do it, chemistry with other actor, etc. So if your favorite wasn't cast, then it is most likely due to something on that list. Keep that in mind while hating and keep perspective.
In October 2013, actress Jennifer Ehle was in talks for the role of Anastasia's mother Carla. On October 12, 2013, Universal Pictures announced that Hunnam had exited the film due to conflicts with the schedule of his FX series Sons of Anarchy. Alexander Skarsgard, Jamie Dornan, Theo James, Francois Arnaud, Scott Eastwood, Luke Bracey and Billy Magnussen were at the top of the list to replace Hunnam as Christian Grey. Finally, on October 23, 2013, Jamie Dornan was cast as Christian Grey. On October 31, 2013, Victor Rasuk was cast as José Rodriguez, Jr.. On November 22, 2013 Eloise Mumford was cast as Kate Kavanagh.
In September, filming was scheduled to start on November 5, 2013 in Vancouver, British Columbia. The following month, producer Michael De Luca announced filming would begin on November 13, 2013. On October 26, the shooting was delayed until December 2, 2013 with a projected end set for February 20, 2015.
In February 2013, Universal chairman Adam Fogelson told The Hollywood Reporter about the release: "It's conceivable that we could be ready to release it as early as next summer." Screenwriter Marcel stated that she expected the film to have a NC-17 rating, although producer Dana Brunetti and a representative of Universal declined to confirm that. In an interview with VH1 producer De Luca stated that the movie will be R-Rated.
Initially announced to be released on August 1, 2014, in mid-November 2013 it was pushed back to February 13, 2015 in time for Valentine's Day.