These Fifty Shades of Grey Secrets Will Make You Scream the Safe Word

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Picture it: Feb. 13, 2015. It was a simpler time, backmost when we could not even fathom the satellite of wounded lurking conscionable astir the corner. The satellite of hurts-so-good, brought to you by the Red Room of Pain, that is.

Just successful clip for Valentine's Day that year, the eponymous archetypal movie successful the hotly anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy opened successful theaters, the culmination of a comparatively abbreviated but not drama-free travel from leafage to surface for the surprise best-seller by British author E.L. James.

Perfect for those still pining distant for Twilight-caliber romance but acceptable to adhd nudity to the mix, the fractured-fairy communicative narration betwixt Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) was ripe for the adapting, and 3 films were churned retired betwixt 2015 and 2018.

But thing could comparison to the excitement that awaited the archetypal Fifty Shades of Grey film. 

And since seven years agone feels similar forever-ago, determination are plentifulness of juicy details we had forgotten astir the making of this film. Now, successful grant of Dornan's day May 1, beryllium perfectly inactive and work on.

Vintage Books

1. Finding the Screenwriter

American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis tweeted successful June 2012, "I'm putting myself retired determination to constitute the movie adaptation of 'Fifty Shades of Grey'..." And he meant it, publically lobbying via Twitter and telling whomever would perceive that helium wanted to accommodate E.L. James' publication for the large screen.

"I work the publication retired of curiosity. If it had not been arsenic large of a hit, I would not person picked it up," Ellis later told Vanity Fair. "I realized, Oh, this isn't good written. It isn't a bully book. But this is simply a truly bully story, and it would marque a truly bully movie."

Instead, Universal's Focus Features went with Kelly Marcel, who had penned the screenplay for Saving Mr. Banks—about Walt Disney's conflict to get Mary Poppins writer P.L. Travers to fto him marque a movie astir her magical nanny. The Wolverine scribe Mark Bomback was brought successful to polish the Fifty Shades publication successful precocious October 2013.

"I had ne'er been connected a task with that overmuch secrecy astir it," Bomback aboriginal told The Hollywood Reporter astir the experience. "The acceptable was connected lockdown, and it was conscionable truly fascinating. I was capable to ticker thing that everybody was speculating astir benignant of unfold successful beforehand of me."


2. Angelina Jolie arsenic Anastasia Steele?

There came connection successful June 2012 that Angelina Jolie had—if determination was immoderate information to the rumor astatine all—perhaps had an informal discussion about directing the movie, having made her diagnostic directorial debut successful 2011 with Land of Milk and Honey.

Jolie went with the adaptation of Unbroken—the beyond-inspiring communicative of Olympic jock turned World War II aviator Louis Zamperini, who crashed, survived 47 days floating successful a beingness raft and then survived a POW camp—for her follow-up task instead. 

Gus Van Sant, who similar Bret Easton Ellis pictured a much graphic, perchance NC-17 film, and Danish manager Susanne Bier were the past 2 names connected a shortlist that James and Focus Features had whittled down—but producer Michael De Luca had been a shaper on a movie Sam Taylor-Johnson was going to bash earlier it fell apart, and suggested she instrumentality a gathering astir Fifty Shades.

Asked however she'd grip the publication series' rabid fandom, she mentioned that her past movie, Nowhere Boy, had been astir the Beatles. And she was hired.

Universal Pictures/E! Illustration

3. Charlie Hunnam arsenic Christian Grey?

Casting rumors ran rampant arsenic to who would play Christian and Ana (Matt Bomer was flattered; Emma Watson was not; Taylor-Johnson wanted Robert Pattinson), but Charlie Hunnam truly was planning to marque the movie his adjacent large task after Sons of Anarchy ended.

"There are truthful galore fans of that publication and I cognize that connected the surface, I'm astir apt not what everybody imagined," the British histrion told Entertainment Weekly in October 2013. "Because speechmaking is truthful idiosyncratic and radical bring a quality to beingness successful their imagination, they consciousness ownership implicit that character." He added, "That's daunting if I allowed myself to deliberation astir it excessively much. I'm taking it precise earnestly and mean to research the quality of who this quality is, what motivates him—and besides formal up bully and look bully successful those suits." 

Days later, helium exited the project, officially owed to a scheduling struggle but reportedly owed to originative differences with the film's originative team, including Sam Taylor-Johnson, arsenic good arsenic second thoughts about whether it was the close vocation determination for him.

As of 2017, Hunnam said helium had inactive never seen the movie because that full to-do was excessively achy of a memory. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter at the time, Hunnam was lone getting paid $125,000 up beforehand for the role. Which seems... skimpy.


4. How Dakota Johnson Got the Part

Young actresses ranging from Shailene Woodley and Elizabeth Olsen to Alicia Vikander and Felicity Jones were said to beryllium successful the running, but erstwhile Dakota Johnson landed the relation of Ana, she kept it.

"She's conscionable truthful Anastasia Steele. She's the champion spouse a shaper could have," Michael De Luca told E! News, calling Johnson "our rock." He said that the histrion was "helping america look done the candidates [to play Christian] to spot which chemistry benignant of captures our attention."

Chuck Zlotnick/Focus/Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock

5. Enter Jamie Dornan

About 2 weeks aft Hunnam's exit, Jamie Dornan officially signed on. A root told E! News that the Belfast-born actor, champion known past for ABC's Once Upon a Time, "had a truly bully read" astatine his audition, but arsenic acold arsenic chemistry with his starring lady, "the workplace isn't disquieted astir Dakota. They deliberation she could grip whoever the feline is."

"I'm definite he'll bash a large job," Hunnam told TMZ successful passing.

Chuck Zlotnick/Focus/Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock

6. Production Starts

Originally scheduled to commencement successful November, main photography was pushed backmost a period arsenic they got their casting ducks successful a row.

Cameras yet started rolling connected Dec. 2, 2013, with Vancouver, British Columbia, lasting successful for Seattle.


7. Release Date Changes

"The merchandise day is preserved and we're gonna benignant of support going," De Luca besides said that October, days earlier the film's merchandise day was changed from Aug. 1, 2014, to Feb. 13, 2015.

Ian Gavan/Getty Images

8. Laters Baby

Dornan's wife, Amelia Warner, was astir 8 months large with their archetypal kid when he was formed arsenic Christian, but she packed up and moved to Vancouver, wherever girl Dulcie was calved connected Nov. 21, 2013.

"Then Jamie had a brand-new babe the archetypal week of shooting," Taylor-Johnson recalled to Vanity Fair.

Chuck Zlotnick/Focus/Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock

9. About Those Sex Scenes

To marque everything arsenic comfy arsenic imaginable for Johnson and Dornan during the enactment scenes, Taylor-Johnson tried to downsize the unit successful the country arsenic overmuch arsenic possible.

"I didn't privation [Dakota oregon Jamie] to person to travel re-shoot those kinds of scenes," the manager told Vanity Fair.

"It was a closed set, and truthful we couldn't beryllium determination for those precise intimate scenes...but truthful overmuch of the movie turns connected those intimate scenes," shaper De Luca explained. "We'd beryllium successful our trailers, but [the actors] were miked, and we had cans—you know, headphones—but I really got shy from listening. There was thing astir not being determination and having the audio that made america consciousness similar peeping listeners, and truthful we each enactment them down."

James legendarily wanted arsenic galore scenes arsenic imaginable to play retired precisely arsenic she'd written them, but Taylor-Johnson focused connected "details, flesh and fingers and tegument and eyes and looks." She felt if they showed excessively much "the enigma would beryllium gone. You spot a lot, but you don't person to spot thing graphic."


10. "Crazy successful Love"

The archetypal trailer was going to spell viral anyway, but it didn't wounded to have a slowed-down mentation of Beyoncé's "Crazy successful Love" mounting the mood.

"Obviously I cognize however ‘Crazy successful Love' goes, but I knew determination was the anticipation her vocals would beryllium different," violinist and signaling creator Margot told TIME. "It's astir much susceptible and beauteous this way, due to the fact that you bash do brainsick things erstwhile you autumn successful love. To perceive the temper reversed and flipped makes it adjacent much powerful."

David Fisher/Shutterstock

11. Ellie Goulding Has Entered the Chat

Ellie Goulding's "Love Me Like You Do" was made specifically for this soundtrack and was nominated for 2 Grammys and a Golden Globe—but the Oscar nomination went to The Weeknd's "Earned It" (which successful crook mislaid to the latest Bond tune, Sam Smith's "Writing's connected the Wall," from Spectre).

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

12. Feud Rumors

Who wants a phantasy erstwhile you could person feud rumors? Dornan was (and is) married, truthful determination was nary imaginable for a real-life romance, à la Robsten, truthful the adjacent champion happening seemingly was to speculate that he and Johnson weren't getting along. A fewer uncomfortable-seeming associated interviews didn't assistance any, but however comfy would you beryllium having chat aft chat connected camera astir nudity and enactment scenes?

"Look, radical are going to accidental that due to the fact that it's a communicative and radical similar to make a small spot of hype starring up to the film," Dornan told E! News at Fifty Shades of Grey's London premiere. "It's an evident communicative to travel up with, you know, if I was into the satellite of coming up with fake stories I'd possibly commencement to bash that connected a blog." He rapidly added, "No, I would ne'er go that person, but I recognize it. It creates a spot of…whatever."

Focus Features

13. Reviews Are In

The reviews ranged from middling to savage to hilarious (not Cats-caliber hilarious, but inactive precise creative), but the movie was a blockbuster, raking successful $570 cardinal worldwide connected a reported $40 cardinal budget. The sequels, some directed by James Foley, made $381 cardinal and $372 cardinal respectively.

Universal Pictures

14. Box Office Debut

Its $85 cardinal opening play held the grounds for the highest U.S. opening for a pistillate manager until Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman opened with $103 cardinal successful 2017.

Chuck Zlotnick/Focus/Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock

15. Director Exits

Taylor-Johnson didn't instrumentality to the franchise, astatine slightest successful portion owed to her problems moving with James—who exercised arsenic overmuch originative power arsenic she could, even bringing successful her husband, Niall Leonard, to constitute the publication for the sequels, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.

"We would person due on-set barneys," Taylor-Johnson recalled to Porter magazine successful 2015. "I'm not confrontational, but it was astir uncovering a mode betwixt the 2 of us, satisfying her imaginativeness of what she'd written arsenic good arsenic my request to visualize this idiosyncratic connected screen."

She besides told The Hollywood Reporter successful 2015 that James "would beryllium the archetypal to accidental arsenic good that it was not easy. It was not easy. But we got there. I deliberation some of america felt it was an incredibly achy process." James said successful an quality connected MSNBC that "people are going to butt heads, and that is precisely what happened."

Opening up to the Sunday Times magazine in 2017, Taylor-Johnson said she didn't regret doing the film, per se, "because that would conscionable decorativeness maine off. With the payment of hindsight would I spell done it again? Of people I wouldn't. I'd beryllium mad."

She continued, "I similar everyone, and I get truly confused erstwhile they don't similar me. I was truthful confused by EL James. I don't recognize erstwhile I can't navigate a person, erstwhile there's nary synergy." 

Don't beryllium alarmed, that's just the afterglow you're feeling.

(Originally published Feb. 13, 2020, astatine 3 a.m. PT)

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