'Fifty Shades of Grey' Writer Plans NC-17 Rating

Jennifer Exley
The Hollywood Reporter
'Fifty Shades of Grey' Writer Plans NC-17 Rating

Could Universal's Fifty Shades of Grey wind up handcuffed with an NC-17 rating?

The first blush of Internet speculation around the film version of the popular trilogy - which sold to Universal for $5 million -- centered around who would star in the hotly anticipated film. While writer E.L. James has kept mum about who she may be considering to play Anastasia Steele and Christina Grey, the screenwriter, Kelly Marcel, is dropping a few hints about what may or may not back it onscreen.

Labeled mommy porn, Fifty Shades is known for its graphic, blush-inducing sex scenes. Marcel seems to be planning for a lot of that to make it onto the big screen. “We are 100 percent going there,” Marcel said in a recent interview with The Sunday Times. "It will be rated NC-17. It will be raunchy," Marcel said

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That would be news to Universal, which, through a spokesperson, said that's not the case. “A screenplay has not yet been written, a rating has not been designated and we have no further comment,” the studio rep said.

That theme was echoed by producer Dana Brunetti, who told THR "the script isn't even written yet, so how could we know how (the MPAA's Classification and) Ratings Board will rate it?"

All official announcements about the 50 Shades of Grey film will be made through its Facebook page, Brunetti added.

Typically studios try hard to keep movies away from an NC-17, as some of the nation's largest theater chains often refuse to play films with the restrictive rating. 

Marcel could not be reached for comment.

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“We [James and Mercel] did go through and decide which are our favorites and which are not. Most of them are in there, but I can’t say more than that," Marcel told the Times. 

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, James mentioned her work with Marcel. "I think we wanted to make this a fun and interesting experience. And so far, so good," she says. "We’ve got a fantastic team, and I hope it’s going to be very rewarding for all of us. And fun as well. There’s no point in doing it if it’s going to be hell. What’s the point?"