Novelist Bret Easton Ellis took to Twitter over the weekend to put himself in the running to adapt “Fifty Shades of Grey” for the screen.
“I’m putting myself out there to write the movie adaptation of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’” he wrote Saturday. To squelch any notions that he was kidding, he posted later that day, “Completely committed to adapting Fifty Shades of Grey. This is not a joke. Christian Grey and Ana: potentially great cinematic characters.” He also wrote that he contacted his agents about making a serious deal.
Ellis would want to adapt “Fifty Shades of Grey” — if you’ve ever read one of his books, you may be surprised that he didn’t actually come up with the idea for the twisted S&M trilogy himself. Ellis has penned eight novels, and three have been turned into films.
The “Less Than Zero” and “American Psycho” author, who frequently depicts psychosexual relationships between the naive and the rich and powerful, seems a natural choice to write the screenplay for the film.
Christian Grey, after all, does seem like he could be a gentler, albeit slightly less psychotic version, of Patrick Bateman — the psycho in the aptly titled “American Psycho.”
We can see it now: Bateman and Grey — long lost cousins sadistically trapping women in Red Rooms of Pain; Bateman on the East Coast, Grey on the West — each competing for who has the superior business card, the slicker haircut and better skincare regimen.
The “Fifty Shades” trilogy, written by English author E.L. James, are the top three-selling books on the New York Times best-seller list and have become worldwide sensations. After the novels’ popularity soared, a rabid bidding war between the major film studios took place earlier this year, with Universal Studios and Focus Features acquiring the film rights for $5 million.
Ellis wrote on Twitter that he would not be in charge of casting, but that he does have actors and actresses in mind for Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. To ensure that “Fifty Shades” would be as bizarre as possible, the author tweeted that he thinks director David Cronenberg, the so-called “King of Venereal Horror,” would make an excellent choice to direct the film.
If Ellis does adapt “Fifty Shades” for the screen and Cronenberg directs, audiences can expect a lot more cocaine use and plenty more violence — and maybe some chainsaws? Anything is possible, really.