‘Fifty Shades’ of Delay? Patrick Marber to Polish Script Amid Charlie Hunnam Exit

Fifty Shades of Grey Casting

The 'Notes on a Scandal' scribe will amp up character development in Kelly Marcel's script

With lead actor Charlie Hunnam bowing out and Patrick Marber coming on to polish the screenplay, it’s looking increasingly unlikely that “Fifty Shades of Grey”  will meet its planned early November start of production.

Universal and Focus recently hired Marber, the screenwriter of “Notes of a Scandal” and “Closer,” to amp up the characters in Kelly Marcel’s script, sources confirm to Variety.

While some report that Marber was hired before Hunnam left the project, the “Sons of Anarchy” star had already made the decision long before the weekend, when it was first announced.

It’s not unusual for high profile scribes to do polishes on scripts before they film. Joss Whedon also reworked sequences in Marvel’s upcoming “Thor: The Dark World” as it was shooting.

But with the Sam Taylor-Johnson-directed movie expected to shoot next month, the studio is scrambling to find a new male lead. In addition to tweaks being made to the script, production on the racy project could now be delayed.

“Fifty Shades of Grey,” based on the best-selling novel by E.L. James,  is set for release Aug. 1, 2014.

Marber is repped by Judy Daish Associates in the U.K.

The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.

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  1. LOL says:

    This is actually a project that may turn out to be good. The studio is taking a brand that is massively known, though they know there is no creative integrity to it. Therefore, they’ve optioned it because they know it will make money, but they want to elevate it. You know, take something that we know is crap but has enough cache to warrant serious investment and improvement.

  2. Just Confused says:

    Not enough “polish” out there to take the tarnish off this piece of c**p.
    You start with garbage and try “to be true” to it, you still have garbage.

    Why doesn’t UNIVERSAL just open up a “legitimate” porn unit and be done with it. AT LEAST it would be “true” to their profit motive.

  3. sr says:

    No. If there is any production company that should do this it should be from the porn industry because this is nothing less than gratuitous porn written by a homely woman who had time on her hand to make up this erotic fantasy. It is garbage with no redeeming value. Scrap the whole idea. The frenzy over this book is past and gone.

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