British director Joe Wright has emerged as a favorite to direct the adaptation of E L James’ sex-soaked bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey, according to the Hollywood Reporter. (Universal had no comment on the report.) Wright, 40, has ties with Universal and Focus Features, who ponied up $5 million for the movie rights, having directed four films for Focus: Anna Karenina, Hanna, Pride and Prejudice, and perhaps most promisingly for Fifty Shades fans, the Oscar-nominated Atonement. In the most stirring scene of the 2007 film, doomed lovers Keira Knightley and James McAvoy emit tremendous heat pressed up against the library shelf. It’s sparks like these that fans of tentative Anastasia Steele and her pathologically intense lover Christian Grey are hungry for in the adaptation. Watch the beginning of the scene below:
Wright, who would class up such a beloved guilty pleasure joint, joins an impressive list of other rumored directors like Bennett Miller, Gus Van Sant, and Patty Jenkins.