I’m pleased and honored to share with you that Bookish Temptations has been invited back to participate in all the new things for #OfficialFifty. That means up-to-date news items and content debuts, and other exclusive opportunities. Today, I have a brand new trailer and some news about about the upcoming Blu-Ray/DVD to share…
THE WAIT IS OVER!
Today is the day! OMG! I hear Twitter screaming! Facebook cheering! Relentless notifications from everyone that is eagerly waiting for the 2nd official Fifty Shades trailer! YAY!
So without further ado…
Mr. Grey will see you now.
When I write an Observations post it’s because something or someone has moved me, or provoked me to do so.
First, let me make one thing perfectly clear. I FLOVE the Fifty Shades series. I loved them when they were just coming out, and I was so very excited when E.L. James was picked up by a major publishing house and the books went tearing up all the best sellers lists. I was thrilled when she broke the news that Fifty was going to be made into a movie. Movies based on books are risky in that it’s so difficult to fit all that happens in a two hour time span. Then there’s the casting…when a book is so popular there are always going to be some fan groups that are disappointed because the person they thought best for the role didn’t get it. For a variety of reasons. That brings me to what I really want to discuss…
From Deadline New York came news this morning about the bidding by movie studios for the movie rights to Fifty Shades of Grey.
Below is a reprint of the article by Mike Fleming
By MIKE FLEMING
EXCLUSIVE: Ending the wildest book-to-movie auction in recent and distant memory, Universal Picturesand Focus Features have acquired screen rights to E.L. James’ steamy novel Fifty Shades Of Grey. Focus Features will market and distribute the film in partnership with Universal, whose co-chairman Donna Langley heavily pursued the book.
I’d heard that 10 studio chiefs sweat it out all weekend to get the rights to this book about a 21-year-old college student who starts a relationship with a late-20s wealthy and handsome entrepreneur who leads her partner into an S&M and bondage deal where she is his submissive and keeps his emotions repressed. The relationship between Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey deepens in Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.
I’m not hearing a specific winning bid amount, but I think if you go back to The Da Vinci Code, which sold for around $3 million or a bit higher against 3.5% of gross, this is comparable to what Universal has paid for Fifty Shades of Grey. The author and agent set approvals over things like script, director and lead cast, but they did not insist on a quick progress to production or even a guarantee that all three films would be made. Instead, their priority was to take their time and get it right as they target this love story explored through sexual politics, aimed at women 25-65. Universal looked at the property as an IP as opposed to simply a book. Clearly, the author and her agent weren’t looking to take the money and run.
All the heavy hitters were into this one, talking to one another and scrambling for any kind of advantage on the weekend with the author and her agent, Valerie Hoskins. This after the two spent a week in Hollywood meeting suitors and producers. They then went into radio silence all weekend while rumors of whopping bids surfaced with upfront sums like $4 million or better against first-dollar gross in the 5% neighborhood. That is big money, but the book is an undisputed grassroots e-book publishing phenomenon. Those numbers can be made to work because the movie can be made for around $30 million. In essence, bidders considered the book trilogy to be the star, and were willing to pay a star salary for an adult R-rated franchise. All of this culminated as The Hunger Games established itself as a powerhouse book to movie franchise, and it created a perfect storm.
Everybody knew all along that James and Hoskins were going to get paid, so this was not at all about getting the biggest payday. In fact, there were bigger offers on the table that the author could have taken and didn’t. I’m told that one thing that swayed the bidding was this: the author and agent got the prestige track record of James Schamus’ Focus Features, backed by the guaranteed passion of Langley, who chased this one hard. That means this was getting the full attention from all of Universal. The author and agent did a similar thing when they set Fifty Shades of Grey up with a publisher. They chose Random House because they wanted the backing and bucks of a big publishing house with a Vintage imprint that gives the trilogy the chance to be regarded as literature and not some trashy sex novel.
Going into the weekend, the studios and monied producers bidding included Warner Bros, Paramount, Fox 2000, Sony Pictures, Universal, Paramount, New Regency, Mandate and Lionsgate/Summit Entertainment, and then Harvey Weinstein got into it hard as it came down to not money but rather which studio made the best presentation and had the creative track record, something that Weinstein was selling hard, I’d heard.
This comes after the author, a former TV exec from London, and her agent, who runs VHA in London, met studios, monied production companies and producers over the past week before sending out their requests.
An article is being circulated on twitter that has her fans beside themselves with glee.
Here is the article from Publisher’s Weekly
British Erotica Series Catches Hollywood’s Eye
By Rachel Deahl
One of the things Hollywood scouts are buzzing about coming off the holidays is, surprisingly, an erotica series by a British TV executive which has garnered strong word-of-mouth via GoodReads and other fan sites. An insider said the series, called Fifty Shades of Grey (which is also the title of the first book), is “being compared to Nine and a Half Weeks” and is making the rounds among producers in Los Angeles. Author E.L. James published the books without an agent through a small former writers community called The Writer’s Coffee Shop, and told PWshe has sold approximately 30,000 copies since releasing the first book in May, 2011.
James is represented by film British film and TV agent Valerie Hoskins and, still, does not have a literary agent. Hoskins confirmed that there is “huge buzz” on the books, largely from American producers and, now, from a few larger American publishers. The books are out in trade paper and e-book, and available through a number of outlets, inclduing the Kindle store. The series, which is set in the U.S., follows a woman named Anastasia Steele, who is studying literature, and who becomes romantically (and sexually) entangled with an entrepreneur named Christian Grey.
The Writer’s Coffee Shop, which was initially founded in 2009 as a community-based literature fan site, established a publishing division in 2010. The publishing division, which releases genre fiction, culls titles from content directly uploaded to its Web site, and lists 11 books in its fall 2011 catalog. When asked why she opted to publish through such a little-known outfit, James said she liked the idea of going small. “I didn’t try any larger, more conventional forms of publishing, preferring to dip my toe first into the publishing world with a small, very supportive publishing house.”
I haven’t seen a response yet from Ms. James or TWCS, so I don’t know if or how much is true but a movie deal is being discussed then my reaction is HELL YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I’ll let you know if I hear anything else.
There are 8 official character posters for the upcoming Hunger Games movie.
See them all at the following link .
How do you feel about the casting? Are you excited about the upcoming movie, or dreading that it won’t live up to the book? Leave me a comment and let me know.
JAG recently posted the news of the DreamWorks deal taking on the Fever franchise. Some Fever fans are really excited about this while others are afraid of how the film adaptation will play out. Book to movies are risky propositions because the readership is very picky about how “their” characters are cast, and on how true to the book the movie will turn out. I’m staying positive on this one till proven otherwise. Fever is one of my top 3 series, so I have a lot of emotional investment.
Anyways, in book news related to Fever, Ms. Moning, tweeted/FB the following this week: