Hollywood Interested in BDSM Novel 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

Mar 15, 2012 3:30 PM PST

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — “Fifty Shades of Grey,” a sexually-explicit, BDSM romance novel from British newcomer E.L. James, is whipping up major interest from Hollywood studios looking to adapt the erotic bestseller.

Dubbed “mommy porn” by the NY Times, “Fifty Shades of Grey” and its sequels, “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed," follow the kink-fueled love affair between 27-year-old billionaire Christian Grey and 22-year-old college virgin Anastasia Steele.

Originally posted under the title “Master of the Universe” on the website FanFiction.net, James’ story became an instant hit with readers and was soon picked up by Australian publisher Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House, which revised the works as the “Fifty Shades” trilogy.

Random House, through their imprint Vintage, secured English-language rights to the trilogy on March 8, paying a reported $1 million. Vintage issued eBook versions of the trilogy on March 12, and will do a 750,000 paperback run in April.

James, a former TV executive and mother of two, is expected to score a seven-figure deal for the movie rights to her novel, despite concerns that its content may be too explicit to lure women into movie houses — not that it really matters in the age of VOD.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, James has hired London-based agent Valerie Hoskins to represent her. Hoskins will start meeting with studios next week. Among those interested are Paramount, Fox 2000, Universal and Warner Bros.

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