This week The Hollywood Reporter published an interview with Universal Chairman Adam Fogelson. The interview covers a lot of different material, so I’ll just give you the Fifty Shades bit:
THR: Give us an update on the Fifty Shades movie. Some think you aren’t moving quickly enough to capitalize on the buzz.
Fogelson: I certainly understand why some people might take that point of view. But I don’t believe that [author EL James] had any interest in going to a studio where rushing it into production was the vision. I don’t believe that the second or third film would have benefited from that strategy. And I think that there are totally legitimate questions about what this book is as a movie. I will tell you that it is an absolute priority for us. It’s conceivable that we could be ready to release it as early as next summer.
Me: WHAT, summer to 2014? Ok, there had been some rumblings recently that it was going to be a 2014 release. With no Director or cast at this point, a 2013 release is pretty much impossible anyway. Especially if you want a quality film and I think most of us don’t want them to rush and make a crap film, Christian and Ana deserve better then that.
THR: Is it true you asked Angelina Jolie to direct?
Fogelson: No. We’re involved in a different project [the World War II drama Unbroken] with her. But we have had really, really interesting, great conversations with talented, serious filmmakers.
Me: I’m not a big Angelina Jolie (the actress) fan, but I know a lot of people would like to see her direct this film. But she’s directing Unbroken, holy cow! How did I not know this? If you haven’t read Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, who also wrote Seabiscuit, it’s a great story that is about as far from Fifty Shades of Grey as you can get.
Without giving much away about the book, Olympic runner joins Air Force in WWII, plane gets shot down, drifts in the Pacific Ocean until he ends up in Japan and is a POW to a man who make Mrs. Robinson seem nurturing. It also happens to be a true story. If you ever thought your life sucked, read this book, you’ll never think it again.
I thought this was an interesting development because Angelina has been linked to Fifty Shades of Grey as a possible director. Although it’s just speculation, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear her name announced as the director of Fifty Shades of Grey. With the hit that Unbroken could be the potential for this big. Unbroken, as a New York Times Best Selling book, whose authors last movie adaptation was nominated for Oscars and the type of story that could bring more Oscars…
The other thing is Fogelson’s comment is that they have been talking to directors. I’ll infer two things from this. Even if the 1st draft of the script isn’t done, there must have been a lot of progress. Second, the director list is getting trimmed, if not short. But, Angelina may not be on it. Fogelson says they didn’t discuss Fifty Shades (but have discussed it with others) and she’s now tied up with another big film so she may not be available to make Fifty Shade of Grey too.
Yes, that is totally contradictory to what I just said before, just think of me typing this as I brainstorm the possibilities.