#OfficialFifty is Back With Awesome News, and a Brand New Trailer!

new #officialfifty 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…

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Observations: Fifty Shades of OMG!

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…

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Universal Wins Fifty Shades Bid…

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

Universal Pictures And Focus Features Win ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’

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.

Related:
Will Steamy Novel ’50 Shades Of Grey’ Climax In 7-Figure Deal?
’50 Shades Of Grey’ Has Hollywood Carpooling

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.

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Personally I’m happy to see that there was a major focus by Ms. James and Ms. Hoskins to retain some control over script, director, and lead cast.
So…whatcha think?!?
Tamie Xo

Latest Fever Book News from Karen Marie Moning

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:

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