The notion of Angelina Jolie directing a Fifty Shades of Grey movie is — to put it lightly — simply fan fiction.
Speculation began with a Deadline.com report that Angelina Jolie was being sought to direct the movie version of Fifty Shades of Grey. Except … not really. Sources close to the project tell EW there is nothing to these reports but bogus speculation.
As Focus Features and Universal Pictures put together a plan to adapt the best-selling erotic novel (which started life as Twilight fan-fiction, only to transform into the year’s hottest literary sensation), agents and executives have engaged in much the same guessing and projecting that ordinary fans do: Who should direct? Who should write? Who should star?
For several reasons, that guessing game has turned up the intriguing possibility of Jolie as director. Why?
1. She has long been one of the industry’s most provocative stars, blending intensity, sexiness, and intelligence.
2. As a filmmaker, she already tackled a far deeper, traumatic, and fraught relationship between a man and a woman in her Bosnian War drama In the Land of Blood and Honey.
3. Name recognition. The book already has a scandalous reputation, and having Jolie behind the camera would lend it legitimacy while maintaining the edge she’s known for.
But there are many more tangible reasons why she would not be directing this.
1. Focus and Universal are eager to get this project going as fast as possible, capitalizing on the phenomenon of E.L. James’ trilogy.
2. Jolie is going to spend the summer and beyond playing the evil lead in Disney’s Maleficent, which would drastically slow down the studios’ plan.
3. Jolie has expressed an interest in directing again, but the project she’s been focusing on is a script she’s writing herself about Afghanistan.
Like In the Land of Blood and Honey, the films she seems keen to direct are pegged to social issues she has been passionate about. That’s not to say she’ll never direct anything else, but for now she hasn’t shown much interest in being a director for hire.
Is it possible she’ll be flattered that executives are putting her on wish-lists to take over a hot commodity like Fifty Shades of Grey and decide, “Why not?” Will she be offended that they’re only thinking of her for a sultry erotic story and tell them to buzz off?
Anything is possible, and stranger things have happened. But for now, there haven’t even been any discussions with her team about this possibility. Studio sources say the first step will be to secure a producer, and from there a screenwriter will be hired. Only then will they begin seriously shopping for directors.
So don’t believe any Jolie rumor. Unless it’s the one about how she’s going to play the lead in Marvel’s Black Panther. That one … I don’t know, I hear things.
I hear things.