E.L. James’ 2011 novel Fifty Shades of Grey, the first in her “bondage drama” trilogy, became an instant worldwide phenomenon that topped Harry Potter as the fastest-selling paperback ever. The trailer for the much anticipated film version premiered on the Today Show this morning. It moves through the story quickly: Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson), a young, timid journalist, sets out to interview Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), a wealthy, brooding businessman, whom Steele describes to her roommate in a voiceover as “polite, intense, smart, and really intimidating.”
Grey turns things around—“I’d like to know more about you,” he says—and the sexual tension escalates. A sultry version of Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love” scores scenes of passionate kissing, lots of face touching, and suggestive bedroom fare. Finally, Grey gets to the point: “I don’t do romance,” he warns. “My tastes are very singular. You wouldn’t understand.” To which a curious Steele begs him to “enlighten me, then” and we’re shown a brief taste of the novel’s BDSM: whips, chains, blindfolds, etc. For morning television, it’s about as carnal as it gets.
Fifty Shades of Grey, directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson (Nowhere Boy), opens Feb. 13, 2015.