Well tie us up and spank us, because it looks like the 50 Shades Of Grey movie might be moving forward after all. Sam Taylor-Johnson has now signed on to direct the adaptation of E.L. James' mucky bestseller, so better invest in leather futures now.
The book's plot sees graduating college student and virgin Anastasia Steele sent to interview handsome 28 year-old billionaire and S&M enthusiast Christian Grey. He makes her an indecent proposal involving the signature of a contract to become his submissive, and she dithers about whether to accept while they have lots of kinky sex.
The book's been a huge success, with the first volume and its two sequels selling over 70 million copies worldwide. It's the fastest-selling paperback of all time, even over Harry Potter, and a film adaptation has been in the works for a while now. Joe Wright was previously rumoured for the job, but what with working on his planned adaptation of Neil Gaiman's The Ocean At The End Of The Lane is now out of the picture.
While we remain to be convinced that this can work on any level on screen, Taylor-Johnson seems like a good choice given that a) as a woman she can probably sidestep some of the obvious pitfalls in attempting to adapt something so sex-laden for a (mostly) female audience and b) as a serious director with credibility she should bring a touch of class to proceedings.
"Sam's unique ability to gracefully showcase complex relationships dealing with love, emotion and sexual chemistry make her the ideal director to bring Christian and Anastasia's relationship to life," said producer Michael De Luca. "E.L. James’ characters and vivid storytelling require a director who is willing to take risks and push the envelope where needed and Sam is a natural fit.”
"I am excited to be charged with the evolution of 'Fifty Shades of Grey' from page to screen," says Taylor-Johnson herself. "For the legions of fans, I want to say that I will honor the power of Erika's book and the characters of Christian and Anastasia. They are under my skin too."
Let the casting rumours start here! Now sit back and watch as Aaron Taylor-Johnson leaps straight to the top of likely candidates to play Christian Grey...