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    Fifty Shades of Grey Screenwriter Jokes That She Watched a Lot of Porn While Adapting the Erotic Novel

    Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, 50 Shade of Grey CYVR/AKM-GSI

    Taking Fifty Shades of Grey, one of the most talked-about novels in recent memory and adapting it for the big screen might seem like a stressful undertaking, no? Well, how about re-working the steamy and undeniably racy scenes, written by E.L. James, so it properly translates on the big screen for Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson?

    No, not for Kelly Marcel.

    The British screenwriter, whose work includes the sci-fi series Terra Nova, opened up to Vanity Fair about how it hasn't been very difficult crossing over to erotic fiction and why she didn't worry taking on the highly anticipated project.

    "There is a book...there [was] a template to follow on that one," Marcel told the magazine. "It's all laid out. So no, I didn't worry about it."

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    Kelly Marcel Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AFI

    Marcel, who was handpicked by James for the job, explained that she had tremendous support from the British author.

    "I had E.L. [James] with me every step of the way and she is very, very tied to her fan base and she really wants to make the film that they'll be happy with," Marcel added. "She knows her fans. She knows her audience. She knows her book, so having her around was invaluable because you can't really go wrong when the author is overseeing it. I think it was a great thing."

    When Marcel was asked if she watched any TV for reference, her undeniably witty personality was on full display.

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    "Apart from the porn?" she quipped. "Lots of porn. No, there wasn't really anything. I didn't for Fifty Shades."

    Marcel also penned the screenplay for the upcoming drama Saving Mr. Banks, which tells the story of Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) resisting Walt Disney's (Tom Hanks) many attempts to make a musical about her creation. Marcel's next project will be a remake of the classic, The Little Mermaid.

    Quite a shift going from S&M to the beloved fairytale, but Marcel doesn't see it that way.

    "I don't know that it is switching gears because it is all character-led," Marcel explains. "P.L. Travers is difficult and has traumas in her childhood and is that way because of those. Christian Grey had traumas in his childhood and lives his adult way because of those. The Little Mermaid is also a kind of tragic, love-lorn figure, so they are all people that just have extraordinary stories that spin around them."

    (E! and Universal Pictures are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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