By Sarah Caldwell
Updated May 10, 2013 at 07:50 PM EDT
Pride And Prejudice
Credit: Alex Bailey

Rumors surrounding the film adaptation of the bestselling bathtub novel Fifty Shades of Grey have been frequent, titillating, and circulated around the internet more than actual porn (just kidding, not possible). People went blind with excitement trying to cast Christian Grey. Ian Somerhalder, Alex Pettyfer, Stephen Amell? Rumors of Emma Watson being cast as Ana were intriguing, but ultimately disappointing. The most recent report says the movie might have found its director: Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice, Anna Karenina)

So what might a Wright 50 Shades look like? We have some predictions:

1. The build-up: This will be the hottest part. Elizabeth and Darcy couldn’t even touch in Pride & Prejudice, but the electricity in this scene in the rain could light Manhattan. Wright knows how to film longing, and although that’s not what sold the books, it could keep viewers plenty satisfied in the movie. We expect tons of under the table hand holding, wry smiles that could kill, and eye-seduction so intense you’ll be curling your toes in anticipation of…

2. The sex: A big worry about the Fifty Shades movie is that reading the novel in the privacy of your own laundry room is one thing, but going out to a theater is another. Some of these debates come off as a little sexist to me — in an equal world we would all have to delete our browser history every once in a while. Will 50 Shades get an NC-17 rating? Maybe. But you better believe Wright can make it steamy, sexy, and rated R if he has to. You could probably watch the Atonement sex scene at work without once seeing something that will make someone call HR, but you’d still feeling uncomfortable the whole time, worried that your office mates know exactly what you are doing. It’s incredibly titillating without being raunchy. So maybe Wright could find a way to make the sex kinky, but still R-rated, with lots of sound effects, dark shadows, close-ups on legs and jawlines, whips that hit, but not too hard. Now is that what fans want? Well, we’ll leave that to you and your browser history. We still sort of assume Wright wouldn’t sign on to direct a straight porn.

3. The contract: Wright has achieved varying degrees of success adapting literary classics. While he’s done great work with some (Pride & Prejudice), he’s watered down other incredibly layered masterpieces (Anna Karenina). So what will he do with a novel that’s basically as deep as a “Holy Cow!”? Well, he’ll probably add something else, right? Maybe as we pan across Anastasia’s face, we see a this-whole-contract-is-really-just-a-reinforcement-gender-stereotypes-disguised-as-a-dominant-and-submissive-relationship-but-what-it-really-is-is-just-a-desire-to-go-back-to-the-a-time-when-women-didn’t-have-to-work-and-could-stay-home-and-have-their-husband-buy-stuff-for-them-constantly-but-now-that-we’re-in-the-21st-century-and-we’ve-all-held-money-and-seen-episodes-of-Mad-Men-maybe-this-isn’t-the-way-we-want-to-live-but-also-the-job-market-is-really-hard-now-and-gym-memberships-are-so-expensive-and-like-dieting-would-be-easier-if-you-had-someone-to-prepare-your-food-for-you-and-maybe-it-would-all-be-better-if-you-had-a-Christian-Grey-who-could-take-care-of-you-but-wait-you-definitely-took-too-many-feminism-classe- in-college-and-your-mother-and-grandmother-fought-too-hard-for-your-right-to-have-a-career-but-anyway-lets-just-get-back-to-the-spanking-and-forget-about-this glance.

Or maybe he’ll just go all blindfolds, silver ties, handcuffs, and red rooms of pain and throw caution to the wind. Most importantly though, if Wright actually does direct this movie, when will the Keira Knightley rumors start?

Read more:

Fifty Shades of Grey (Book)

  • Book
  • E L James
  • Vintage