Late last week, the internet lit up with another exciting rumor on the potential creative team for the film adaptation of E.L. James's Fifty Shades of Grey—this time, it was the stunning news that British director Joe Wright has become the front runner choice for director. His name has been added to a list of film makers under consideration that apparently includes Gus Van Sant, Patty Jenkins and, oddest of all, Bennett Miller.
(ETA: Deadline now reports that Wright is out of the running, but that doesn't mean he's not the best choice—plus, schedules can change!)
Van Sant might do this movie some justice; in fact he's proven himself quite able to cover male/male sensuality in past films such as Milk, My Own Private Idaho and Mala Noche. But Wright seems like the better choice, given his sensual-overload filmmaking style and proven talent for representing a woman's emotional inner life on screen. One can only hope that if he really is on the short list, that the folks over at the film company Focus Features, and novelist/producer E.L. James (in between her script burning sessions with Kelly Marcel) will seriously consider him.
Joe Wright has a well established knack for high-end book adaptations. His most recent film was last year's Anna Karenina, a fantastical satin-lined waltz through the original Tolstoy novel that explored many forms of love and desire. It was an extremely adult-themed film, full of romance and seduction, and rated R in the USA for good measure. Previous Wright films Pride and Prejudice and Atonement also included heavy drama, romance, and intense emotions, not to mention being flush with stunning visuals and sensual production design.