A former UK TV exec wrote a series of semi-Twilight-inspired erotica beginning with a book called Fifty Shades Of Grey, which follows the kinky exploits of a couple inspired by Bella and Edward. Whatever their connection with Meyer’s supernatual teen lit, the books feature no vampires and is instead about a 21-year-old naive virgin getting wrapped up in a twisted billionaire’s sex life.
These books feature some BDSM content and have apparently lit up serious buzz by virtue of a unique set of circumstances that include heavy online chatter, a scarcity of physical copies, and a popularity in ebook formats. All this has given the story of Fifty Shades momentum, with the physical scarcity lending it a mysterious, underground vibe while ebook publishing has made it accessible and private. The largely female audience is apparently eating up the purple prose as a sort of literary Harlequin novel or something. It’s another baffling phenomenon in the making.
Apparently this story, detailed in the NY Times here, was enough to excite several studios, including Sony who bid $5 million dollars for the film rights, and Universal pictures who apparently bid more than that because they actually won. They’ll make the film while the Focus Features will actually distribute.
So yes, in a roundabout way Universal Pictures — during it’s centennial year — is dropping seven figures on rights to tinly-veiled BDSM Twilight-slashfic that has sold a quarter-million copies because of magic devices that led women read erotica on the bus without being spotted.
I don’t know how they think this will cross over into any kind of event where all these privately-reading erotica fans will suddenly brave the light of day to go watch this shit communally, but I don’t write the checks.
Source | THR