Magazine article Screen International

Universal, Focus Win Bidding War for Fifty Shades Trilogy

Magazine article Screen International

Universal, Focus Win Bidding War for Fifty Shades Trilogy

Article excerpt

Ending the most frenzied studio auction in years, the studio partners have snapped up rights to the S&M thriller Fifty Shades Of Grey and its two sequels by West London housewife and former TV executive E L James.

Focus will market and distribute the film in association with Universal. It is believed that Focus Features International will handle pre-sales which raises the possibility of a must-have title in Cannes, however sources had not confirmed this at time of writing.

Universal and Focus emerged victorious following two weeks of courtship by Hollywood heavyweights that saw offers fly in. At one point Sony was believed to have made a $5m bid.

Fifty Shades Of Grey charts the relationship between a college student and a billionaire in his late twenties. It began life as an online episodic before it was published as a single volume by Vintage Books, a division of Random House, with whom Focus has a relationship.

The two follow-ups Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed explore the couple's evolving union. …

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