Rush is on to bring erotic bestseller to big screen
Having conquered bestseller lists around the world, the erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey is to be adapted for the big screen by the producers of The Social Network.
Universal Pictures has named The Social Network team of Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti as executive producers in its rush to bring the E L James novel of domination and bondage to film theatres.
The announcement has triggered intense fan speculation about the film’s casting – Angelina Jolie and Jane Campion have been touted as possible directors while Kristen Stewart is a favourite to play the virginal lead. The book started out as fan fiction, featuring the lead characters of the Twilight series.
Since being picked up by Vintage Books in March – the novels were originally published by Sydney’s Amanda Haywood – the Fifty Shades trilogy has sold 31 million print and digital books in 41 countries, 20 million in the United States.
The insatiable demand has amazed Random House’s marketing and publicity director, Brett Osmond, who says the run has been ’’truly electric to witness’’ and has yet to plateau. Only last week the publisher sold 100,000 copies nationwide.
‘‘ At the moment, sales are growing exponentially,’’ Mr Osmond, said.
‘‘For us at Random House, it is unprecedented. I have no answer to why Fifty Shades is successful except to say that the story has hit a nerve.’’
Independent book sellers report difficulty keeping up with reader demand.
Jon Page, of Pages & Pages book store in Mosman, said a temporary stock shortage last week had built up even more demand.
‘‘We just had stock hit yesterday and today and we literally cannot keep the book in the shop no matter how many we order.’’
Mr Page said he was selling far more of Book 1 than Book 2 and 3.
‘‘ Usually with books like Twilight and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo we had equally strong sales with the other books in the series.
‘‘With Fifty Shades we are only seeing 40 per cent of people come back for Book 2and 30 per cent for Book 3.
‘‘A lot of readers are wanting to find out what the fuss is about and finding that it is not for them.’’
BEST SELLER: To be turned into a movie.