Kelly Marcel to Write the Screenplay to Universal Pictures and Focus Features’ Film Adaptation of “Fifty Shades of Grey”

KELLY MARCEL TO WRITE THE SCREENPLAY TO UNIVERSAL PICTURES AND FOCUS FEATURES’ FILM ADAPTATION OF “FIFTY SHADES OF GREY” 

UNIVERSAL CITY, CA, October 8, 2012—Universal Pictures and Focus Features today announced that Kelly Marcel will write the screenplay to the highly anticipated film adaptation of “Fifty Shades of Grey.”  Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti will produce the film based on E L James’ #1 Bestselling book, alongside James.  The announcement was made by Universal Pictures Co-Chairman, Donna Langley and Focus Features’ Chief Executive Officer, James Schamus.

Marcel wrote the 2011 Black List script, Saving Mr. Banks, the story of Walt Disney’s twenty-year pursuit of the film rights to author P.L. Travers’ novel, “Mary Poppins,” and the rocky relationship that formed between the two.  The film is currently in production at Walt Disney Studios starring Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson and Colin Farrell with John Lee Hancock directing.  Marcel served as the co-creator and executive producer of the Amblin/FOX-TV series Terra Nova, for which she wrote the series’ pilot episode.  She will also produce The Madonnas of Echo Park for HBO.

“Kelly’s work demonstrates her flawless structural technique and passionate commitment to emotion, humor and depth of character which is particularly visible in the celebrated screenplay for the upcoming Saving Mr. Banks,” said De Luca.  “We were all taken with the depth and passion of Kelley’s engagement with the characters and world E L James has created and we knew she was the right person to augment our Fifty Shades family,” added Brunetti.

Universal Pictures and Focus Features acquired the rights to the three books in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” Trilogy in March of this year.  Focus Features will market and distribute the first film in partnership with Universal.  “Fifty Shades of Grey” has become a global phenomenon and the trilogy has been translated in 45 languages worldwide since its release.  In the U.S. alone, the “Fifty Shades” trilogy has sold over 32 million copies in e-book and print making it one of the fastest selling book series ever.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” follows the relationship of 27-year-old billionaire Christian Grey and college student Anastasia Steele.  Subsequent novels in the series, “Fifty Shades Darker” (September 2011) and “Fifty Shades Freed” (January 2012) explore the couple’s deepening relationship.  For more information please see the official Fifty Shades of Grey Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/fiftyshadesofgreymovie.

Marcel was represented in the deal by WME and Casarotto Ramsay & Associates Limited.

About Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures is a division of Universal Studios (www.universalstudios.com).  Universal Studios is part of NBCUniversal.  NBCUniversal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience.  NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group and world-renowned theme parks.  Comcast Corporation owns a controlling 51% interest in NBCUniversal, with GE holding a 49% stake.

About Focus Features

Focus Features and Focus Features International (www.focusfeatures.com) comprise a singular global company. This worldwide studio makes original and daring films that challenge the mainstream to embrace and enjoy voices and visions from around the world that deliver global commercial success. The company operates as Focus Features in North America, and as Focus Features International (FFI) in the rest of the world; and is celebrating its 10th Anniversary in 2012.

Focus Features and FFI are part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. Comcast Corporation owns a controlling 51% interest in NBCUniversal, with GE holding a 49% stake.

Blu-ray Review “The Grey”

Directed by: Joe Carnahan
Starring: Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: Universal Studios
Release Date: May 15, 2012
Running Time: 117 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out 5 stars

Liam Neeson is definitely one bad-ass son-bitch. He proved it recently in “Taken” and “Unknown” and again in this film ‘The Grey”.  This film is the perfect thriller from the moment it starts and really nails the aspect of isolation.  The locations where this film was shot was absolutely beautiful to look at and I found myself just staring.  The pace is slow moving but really gets deep into its characters and leaves you at the edge of your seat.  Also be sure to stay through the credits for a cool bonus scene!

The story follows a group of oil-men, who become stranded in the remote Alaskan wilderness after a plane crash. Ottway (Neeson) leads the group of men, who are forced to survive against a pack of grey wolves who are stalking them.  They have to use more than just brute strength in order to outsmart these vicious pack of wolves in order to survive.

This release comes in a Two-Disc Combo Pack with the Blu-ray and DVD.  As well as a digital streaming copy using UltraViolet service.  The video looks absolutely perfect in its 1080p transfer and wonderful aspect ratio of 2.40:1.  The audio is also perfect with its DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, you literally almost feel every gust of wind and it keeps you on the edge of your seat.    The special features though are lacking.  There is a decent and information commentary track with director/co-writer Joe Carnahan and editors Roger Barton and Jason Hellmann. Lastly, there is also twenty plus minutes of deleted scenes, which are definitely worth checking out.

Film Review “The Grey”

Starring: Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney and Dallas Roberts
Directed by: Joe Carnahan
Rated: R
Running time: 1 hour 57 mins
Warner Brothers

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Way up in the Alaskan frontier, a group of men work on an oil pipeline. Unseen by all is Ottway (Neeson), whose only job is to look through a rifle scope and shoot ANYTHING that threatens the workers. Longing for his wife, Ottway and a group of men board a plane for Anchorage. When the plane crashes, stranding all who survived, the frozen north becomes the least of the problems for Ottway and his companions.

Directed with the eye of a master, “The Grey” tells the story of what happens when the hunter becomes the hunted. Brimming with suspense and more than a couple heart-racing scenes, “The Grey” is this 2012’s annual, beginning of the year, Liam Neeson movie. Luckily, like “Taken” and “Unknown” before it, the film is well worth seeing.

Anchored by one of Neesons strongest performances ever, “The Grey” delivers two tones…dark, when the men are struggling through thigh-high snow, and darker, when they huddle together near a slight fire, ever wary of the pack of wolves that has followed them since the plane crash, slowly winnowing the group down as, one by one, the men prove no match for their furry adversaries. As their journey to find civilization drags on, Ottway ensures that Hendrick (Roberts) collect the wallet of each man who succumbs, be it to the wolves or the cold. As the film progresses the knapsack full of wallets continues to swell.

Director Carnahan, whose previous films include “Narc” and the updated version of “The A-team,” continues to add on to his growing resume’ of action and adventure. Each scene is shot with an eye that belays Carnahan’s relative youth behind the camera. The excitement is heightened by the nastiest set of wolves you’ll ever seen, courtesy of maestro’s Greg Nicotero, Howard Berger and the crew at KNB EFX Studio. Come for the wolves, stay for Neeson. His performance is so strong that director Carnahan has already hinted the film will be re-released in October 2012 to gain the Irish actor award consideration.