The Fifty Shades of Grey Movie Will Be NC-17, Says Screenwriter

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Jan. 8 2013 6:12 PM

What To Expect From the Fifty Shades of Grey Movie

Fifty Shades of Grey

Vintage Books

Last year’s S&M-riddled bookselling phenomenon 50 Shades of Grey is on its way to the big screen. This, of course, raises a variety of questions—such as, who will play the “kinky Seattle tycoon” Christian Grey? In an interview with the style magazine of the London Times, the adaptation’s screenwriter, Kelly Marcel, says she gets that question “roughly 300 times a day.”

A more interesting question, perhaps, is how the book’s explicit scenes between Grey and its young heroine, Ana, can possibly be translated to the big screen. The answer to that one? Make the movie NC-17.


Appropriately aged fans can expect to see a relatively faithful cinematic retelling of the couple’s sexual escapades, according to Marcel. “There is going to be a lot of sex in the film,” she adds. “It’s going to be raunchy.”

We can still only speculate about director and casting choices. Regardless of those creative decisions, though, an NC-17 rating almost assures that the film will not make an especially big splash at the box office. The highest-grossing NC-17 film of all-time is Showgirls, which made a relatively paltry $20 million (almost twice as much as the next highest-grossing movie in that category, Henry & June).

Aisha Harris Aisha Harris

Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.

On the other hand, no one would have expected an S&M novel that began as Twilight fan fiction to become such a phenomenon that its American publisher would give every one of its employees (“from top editors to warehouse workers”) a $5,000 Christmas bonus.

So really, who knows? Maybe the movie version will beat the odds, too.


The World

How Canada’s Shooting Tragedies Have Shaped Its Gun Control Politics

Where Ebola Lives Between Outbreaks

Gunman Killed Inside Canadian Parliament; Soldier Shot at National Monument Dies

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Paul Farmer: Up to 90 Percent of Ebola Patients Should Survive

Is he right?


“I’m Not a Scientist” Is No Excuse

Politicians brag about their ignorance while making ignorant decisions.


Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea 

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 22 2014 6:30 PM The Tragedies That Have Shaped Canada's Gun Politics
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 4:10 PM Skinny Mark Wahlberg Goes for an Oscar: The First Trailer for The Gambler
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.