Kimberley French/Summit Entertainment
Mommy porn to the big screen!
And no, we're not kidding—Universal's Focus Features has officially acquired the rights to E.L. James' first novel Fifty Shades of Grey—ya know—the sexually explicit Twilight fan-fiction-inspired story we can't stop gushing over.
But check out even a short excerpt from the pornographic pages, and you'll soon realize—even an R rating would be a serious stretch for the raunchy read.
So, will Universal take a major risk and release the movie as NC-17 to salvage all the deliciously dirty deets?!
Universal still hasn't completely condemned the idea of the oh-so-taboo rating, simply telling us, "As for ratings, all of this is too early to tell."
But anyway, that's a decision for both the studio…and the author herself.
As for the former, Universal hasn't released an NC-17 rated film since Inside Deep Throat in 2005—a documentary that explores the legacy of the Linda Lovelace Deep Throat porno. Considering that history, slapping an NC-17 rating on Fifty Shades of Grey seems like it would all but confirm the X-rated tone.
But E.L. James' agent Valerie Hoskins fervently denies the pornographic characterization of the novel:
"It's a love story. People fall in love and they rabidly have sex, because that's what you do when you fall in love. You do, you do!" Hoskins passionately insists while knocking the "Mommy Porn" moniker. "It's a love story, a romantic one. I don't really like the phrase Mommy Porn. I guess I don't mind it that much, but I don't like it."
Silly nicknames aside, the novel explores far more mature themes than its Twilight counterpart, and Hoskins insists the sexually graphic tone will be addressed in a tasteful manner:
"It is very sensitive material. It could become sleazy, it could become cheesy, it could end up looking like porn. It needs to be classy, sexy rather than full of sex," Valerie clarified.
And since we've had our fair share of Twilight cheese, we're fully behind the mission to honor the material.
Still, while we highly doubt Universal will take such a ratings risk, it's clear that after the epic studio battle James and Hoskins both feel confident in their decision to work with Focus Features:
"The priority was collaborative spirit…All of the offers fulfilled that to a degree, but the Universal offer fulfilled it 100 percent, and it was done with a sense of quiet confidence. The goal was to protect the material and its manifestations into movies," Hoskins confirmed.
So, now that E.L. James is satisfied and Universal is more than happy with their newly acquired franchise gold, let's get this casting couch started!
Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, you're up first.
(E!, Focus Features and Universal Pictures are all part of the NBCUniversal family.)