Big news for fans of the wildly popular erotic novel, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, is that the book will soon be made into a feature film, and the producers will go for that rare NC-17 rating. Few films want to be tagged with this rating because many theaters will not run films with this classification. So years ago the NC-17 rating was adopted by Hollywood and MPAA as an alternative to an X rating, which had become heavily associated with pornography in the minds of most people, although a few quality films such as MIDNIGHT COWBOY or MEDIUM COOL both once earned X ratings when first released, but were later re-rated by the MPAA. It was the growth of the new wave of pornographic films, led by DEEP THROAT where the X rating was hijacked by this new genre of films, which soon made up their own fictitious XXX rating to describe their films as way beyond normal X.
The novel has many S&M oriented moments, and the film will apparently recreate some of these as well. British producer Kelly Marcel, a 38 year old screenwriter is working on the big screen version of this film. Since much of the sex is S&M oriented, this screenwriter will have an interesting job featuring sex scenes that are acceptable within the NC-17 range, or legal for widescreen release. The UK has laws against featuring sexual scenes of an extreme nature, where even many British fetish companies that featured relatively harmless activity such as softcore spanking porn have long since moved overseas to places like Denmark to avoid any local legal difficulties.
Some American cities or states have some questionable laws dealing with S&M oriented activity depictions in films. More normal sexual depictions are now legal almost everywhere, but the more kinky the scene, the more questionable it begins to get for some screenwriter. The highly acclaimed, but controversial, R rated film, SECRETARY, was able to feature many kinky scenes, but in very softcore manners. If FIFTY SHADES OF GREY wants to really push the envelope, that this screenwriter faces a daunting task here. The book is a major cultural icon, so a film version was only expected. But, how to carefully tread here will be a real challenge for Marcel.
It is possible that Krysten Ritter may be asked to play a lead role in this film. She already has voiced an open opinion to possibly sign up here once the screenplay is completely done. Ritter Tweeted a fan that she “would be down” to play the lead character Anastasia Steele.