Fifty Shades of Grey has been a strong cultural and social phenomenon since the novel was published online in 2011. While first media reports on E.L. James’ novel focused on its origins as Twilight fan fiction with a sado-masochistic twist, it went on to be a bestseller and one of the first great successes of the ebook market with reams of newspaper articles labelling the romance between a recent graduate and a sucessful businessman ‘Mummy Porn’. As soon as bookshop cash registers started tinkling Hollywood swooped in and a hotly contested bidding war began with Universal and Focus Features emerging victorious. Sam Taylor-Johnson, the British director with a pretty solid reputation in art circles, was announced as the director and the lead roles of ingenue Anastasia Steele and the kinky millionaire Christian Grey went to newcomer Dakota Johnson and Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam. Weeks and a lot of gossip column inches later Hunnam left the role and it all looked a little bit lost.
The director Sam Taylor-Johnson with her husband Aaron Taylor-Johnson, for whom she found a small role in the film
That’s when the world found out about the existence of Northern Irish model-turned-actor Jamie Dornan and all those lovely and distracting Calvin Klein underwear advertisements. The actor was drafted in for the part and the delayed production got rolling on a paparazzi-dominated set.
The two leads, Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, on set in Vancouver earlier this year
The trailer has actually been ready for some time now, and was seen at trade shows a couple of weeks ago with initial reaction being surprise at the romantic spin Taylor-Johnson has given this tale of sexual discovery. In the book and movie Anastasia finds her naive self under the spell of a business genius with a prediliction for control and a fondness for dedicating apartment space to rather complicated sex toys. Today marks the moment we plebians get to see if all the furore was worth it. Earlier this week Beyoncé hinted at her involvement with a cheeky yet sexy Instagram video of short yet intense shots. So what do you think of the trailer? Is it everything you thought it would be, or is it actually quite restrained?
Jeanne Sutton @jeannedesutun