×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Kelly Marcel to script ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

'Terranova' producer wrote Mary Poppins-themed 'Saving Mr. Banks'

“Terranova” co-creator Kelly Marcel has been tapped to pen “Fifty Shades of Grey” for Universal and Focus Features.

Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti will produce the film based on E L James’ tome alongside James.

“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.

Universal Pictures and Focus Features acquired the rights to the three books in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy in March of this year in one of the more heated bidding wars in recent years. Focus Features will market and distribute the first film in partnership with Universal.

Since acquiring those rights, Universal and Focus have been working on figuring out what they want the project to look like.

Prior to De Luca and Brunetti coming on board, a handful of producers met over several months before they were picked and a similar amount of time was taken in selecting a writer.

Popular on Variety

Sources tell Variety that while some men were considered, Universal and Focus were looking for a femme scribe. Other writers considered included “The Killing” scribe/exec producer Veena Sud, “Game of Thrones” scribe Vanessa Taylor and “Weeds” creator Jenji Kohan.

It’s not surprising the producers were considering mainly TV writers, given a deeper bench of women working on the smallscreen.

Besides “Terranova,” the WME-repped Marcel also penned Disney’s Mary Poppins backstory pic “Saving Mr. Banks,” which is currently in production and stars Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson.

More Film

  • Australia' s Oscar contender BuoyancyC

    Rod Rathjen on Why Human Trafficking Tale 'Buoyancy' Had to be Made as Fiction

    Australian Rod Rathjen’s first film as director, “Buoyancy” is a powerful dramatization of human trafficking within Thailand’s offshore fishing fleet. Shot largely in Khmer and Thai, and selected as Australia’s foreign-language Oscar contender, it may also be a role model for cultural sensitivity and activism. The film plays this week in competition at the International [...]

  • Bong Joon Ho Talks 'Parasite' on

    'Parasite' Director Bong Joon Ho Makes Late Night Debut Following Three Globe Nominations

    “Parasite” director Bong Joon Ho sat down for his first U.S. late-night appearance on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” Monday night. The director, who received best director and best original screenplay Globen Globe nominations with co-writer Han Jin Won, plus a best foreign language nod Monday morning, did not give much away about the film’s [...]

  • The Cold Blue

    Erik Nelson Wants to Preserve the Past With 'The Cold Blue' World War II Documentary

    Erik Nelson describes his documentary “The Cold Blue” as “the garage band of movies” — he didn’t have the large team or crew other documentary contenders have. “The Cold Blue” is a World War II documentary that looks at raids and B-17 bombing missions that took place during the war. Nelson’s team looked at 34 [...]

  • Ray Manzarek

    Film News Roundup: Concert-Documentary 'The Doors: Break on Thru' Set for February

    In today’s film news roundup, one-night showings of a Ray Manzarek tribute and the season premiere of “Doctor Who” have been set for 2020, and the MPAA hires a copyright expert. ONE-NIGHT SHOWINGS The Doors and Trafalgar Releasing are teaming on the worldwide Feb. 12 release of “The Doors: Break on Thru – A Celebration [...]

  • Richard Jewell

    Warner Bros. Hits Back at Atlanta Paper Over 'Richard Jewell' Legal Threat

    Warner Bros. is standing behind “Richard Jewell,” the Clint Eastwood drama that is the source of controversy over its portrayal of a female journalist trading sex for scoops. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution sent a legal threat to the filmmakers on Monday asking them to include a disclaimer noting that the film took dramatic license. In a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content