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

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

What To Expect From the Fifty Shades of Grey Movie

1357685635209
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.

Advertisement

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).

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.

Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.

TODAY IN SLATE

Sports Nut

Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

How to Keep Apple From Sharing Your iPhone Data With the Police

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

Future Tense

Uh-Oh. The World’s Oceans Have Broken Their All-Time Heat Record.

Food

How to Order Chinese Food

First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”

Uh-Oh. The World’s Oceans Have Broken Their All-Time Heat Record.

The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant

The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 11:40 AM The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
  Life
Outward
Sept. 18 2014 4:15 PM Reactions to a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Reveal Transmisogyny
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.