E.L. James
Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock
United Kingdom

Fifty Shades Ltd.

E.L.
James

Owner / Producer

E.L. James wrote her way into the record books with “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the first installment of the blockbuster erotic trilogy that’s become a worldwide phenomenon. The steamy, S&M-inspired series and its Hollywood spinoffs have made James a literary superstar, spawning a growing lifestyle brand which includes lingerie, jewelry, sex toys, and wine inspired by the books.

By retaining creative control over the trilogy’s film adaptations, and negotiating a sizeable cut of the backend, James has displayed a level of clout matched by few authors in Hollywood. She all but single-handedly proved female audiences would show up for racy films, while cultivating a fan base that drove the trailer for sequel “Fifty Shades Darker” to a record-breaking 114 million views in its first 24 hours online.

Born Erika Mitchell in London, England, James was working as a TV executive when she began writing erotic fan fiction inspired by the “Twilight” vampire series. In 2011, she wrote her first novel, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which was published as an e-book under the pen name E.L. James. The book became an overnight sensation, breaking sales records when the print edition was released by Vintage in 2012. The first film adaptation in the trilogy grossed more than $500 million worldwide after its 2015 release.

Career

  • FIFTY SHADES OF GREY
  • FIFTY SHADES DARKER
  • FIFTY SHADES FREED

Education

  • University of Kent (England)

Variety Honors

  • 2017 Variety500 Honoree
  • Women's Impact
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News from Variety

'Fifty Shades' Sequel to Be Written by E.L. James' Husband

'Fifty Shades' Sequel to Be Written by E.L. James' Husband

Niall Leonard, E.L. James' husband, has been tapped to pen the screenplay for "Fifty Shades Darker," the sequel to Universal's "Fifty Shades of Grey."Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan are attached to reprise their roles with James, Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca producing.While this will mark Leonard's first time working on a major studio film, he has written scripts for British television on such shows as "Wild at Heart" and "Wire in the Blood." Variety first reported in February that the...

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