Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Friday Box Office: 'Adaline' Bumps 'Furious' for a Day; 'Kurt Cobain' Big in 3 Theaters Friday Box Office: 'Adaline' Bumps 'Furious' for a Day; 'Kurt Cobain' Big in 3 Theaters Remembering Film Critic Richard Corliss (1944-2015) Remembering Film Critic Richard Corliss (1944-2015) Cannes: Denis Villeneuve Says Drug War Film 'Sicario' Is "Very Dark" and "Quite Violent" Cannes: Denis Villeneuve Says Drug War Film 'Sicario' Is "Very Dark" and "Quite Violent" How Do You Solve a Problem Like Erika? Universal Hires Husband to Write 'Fifty Shades Darker' How Do You Solve a Problem Like Erika? Universal Hires Husband to Write 'Fifty Shades Darker' 'Age of Ultron' Director Joss Whedon on Self-Doubt and Why It's His 'Rio Bravo' 'Age of Ultron' Director Joss Whedon on Self-Doubt and Why It's His 'Rio Bravo' Watch: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette and Amy Schumer Hilariously Slam Hollywood Sexism (NSFW) Watch: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette and Amy Schumer Hilariously Slam Hollywood Sexism (NSFW) CinemaCon: How Tom Cruise Stole the Paramount Show CinemaCon: How Tom Cruise Stole the Paramount Show Meet the Director of 'Tangerines,' the 2015 Dark Horse Oscar Nominee You Missed (Exclusive Video) Meet the Director of 'Tangerines,' the 2015 Dark Horse Oscar Nominee You Missed (Exclusive Video) LA Film Fest Unveils Horror Slate, More World Premieres, Zoe Cassavetes Film LA Film Fest Unveils Horror Slate, More World Premieres, Zoe Cassavetes Film Cannes: Directors' Fortnight Lines Up Vet Auteurs and American Indies Cannes: Directors' Fortnight Lines Up Vet Auteurs and American Indies Joe Wright's 'Pan' Gets Fall Release Date: Good News or Bad News? Joe Wright's 'Pan' Gets Fall Release Date: Good News or Bad News? Seeing Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' Through Composer Johnny Jewel's Eyes (STREAM SOUNDTRACK) Seeing Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' Through Composer Johnny Jewel's Eyes (STREAM SOUNDTRACK) 3 Women Genre Directors Get SF Film Society Fellowships 3 Women Genre Directors Get SF Film Society Fellowships Here's Why Jon Stewart Quit 'The Daily Show' Here's Why Jon Stewart Quit 'The Daily Show' Watch: From Tarantino to Cronenberg, Great Directors Talk the Art and Anxiety of Filmmaking Watch: From Tarantino to Cronenberg, Great Directors Talk the Art and Anxiety of Filmmaking Specialty Box Office: 'True Story' and 'Child 44' Flop as 'Ex Machina' Lures Audiences Specialty Box Office: 'True Story' and 'Child 44' Flop as 'Ex Machina' Lures Audiences Tribeca Film Festival Matches George Lucas with Stephen Colbert: “I’m gonna tear you a new one, George" Tribeca Film Festival Matches George Lucas with Stephen Colbert: “I’m gonna tear you a new one, George" 10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

'Fifty Shades of Grey' Brings on Writer Patrick Marber for Script Polishing; Search for New Christian Grey Continues UPDATED

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood October 15, 2013 at 11:52AM

UPDATE: On the heels of star Charlie Hunnam dropping out of "Fifty Shades of Grey," leaving the Universal/Focus Features production to find a new Christian Grey STAT, it's been announced the film has brought on Oscar-nominated scribe Patrick Marber ("Notes on a Scandal") to do some clean-up work on the script.
4
Charlie Hunnam in "Pacific Rim"
Charlie Hunnam in "Pacific Rim"

UPDATE: On the heels of star Charlie Hunnam dropping out of "Fifty Shades of Grey," leaving the Universal/Focus Features production to find a new Christian Grey STAT, it's been announced the film has brought on Oscar-nominated scribe Patrick Marber ("Notes on a Scandal") to do some clean-up work on the script.

Marber's polishing will include "character work." Per THR, the hiring of Marber came before Hunnam's drop-out.  

Reportedly current possible replacements for Hunnam include Jamie Dornan ("The Fall") and Alexander Skarsgard ("True Blood"). The studio is also reconsidering names from their original list of contenders, including Theo James ("Divergent") and Christian Cooke ("The Promise"). Garrett Hedlund is now unavailable with Angelina Jolie's "Unbroken" getting underway

EARLIER: I'm not buying the Universal/Focus Features explanation for why Charlie Hunnam has ditched the film adaptation of "Fifty Shades of Grey":

“The filmmakers of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY and Charlie Hunnam have agreed to find another male lead given Hunnam’s immersive TV schedule which is not allowing him time to adequately prepare for the role of Christian Grey.” 

Dakota Johnson in "The Social Network"
Dakota Johnson in "The Social Network"

It's classic studio spin. The real reasons are "creative differences" or a degree of discomfort with the sexual material. In other words, he got cold feet. But as Hunnam pointed out before, he had no issues with his early role in TV series "Queer as Folk." Inevitably, he had to feel comfortable with whatever director Sam Taylor-Wood was demanding from him as Master of the Universe Christian Grey. 

The question is: who's next to play opposite Hollywood sprig Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele? Jennifer Ehle recently joined the project as her mother. The film is set for August 2014 release, so the clock is ticking on getting started.

I doubt that James Schamus's recent departure from Focus Features has much to do with this change, as Universal chairman Donna Langley and producers Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca have always had a strong hand in this production, which is scripted by "Saving Mr. Banks" writer Kelly Marcel. 

As De Luca explained to me: 

You have to divorce yourself from the idea that that book is going to be literally translated. The book is very explicit, because she [E.L. James] wanted to get inside the head of that young girl as she goes through this character arc of growing up, and being opened up to a sexual relationship for the first time. It’s literal by design of the author. With movies we all know, a picture is worth 1,000 words. So the cinematic language for the movie, is the opposite. It doesn’t have to be explicit, because images are so powerful. You're dealing with a cinematic language from adult human relationships that have worked, like Adrian Lyne's ouevre from the late 80s and early 90s. 

This article is related to: Fifty Shades of Grey, Charlie Hunnam, Universal/Focus Features, Universal


E-Mail Updates