E L James may tie up S&M-loving readers yet again by revisiting the characters from her “Fifty Shades of Grey” novels in a second trilogy.
A source close to the British author, whose real name is Erika Leonard , tells us that the self-made fiction phenom is considering rewriting the best-selling trilogy — “Fifty Shades of Grey,” “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed” — from the perspective of the novels’ riding-crop-wielding billionaire, Christian Grey.
The original books unfold through the eyes of Anastasia Steele, the college grad who agrees to submit to Grey’s bondage-and-discipline lifestyle out of love for him.
James new spin on the series — which has sold approximately 10 million copies since being published in 2011 — would keep fans and the media talking about Grey and Steele while they wait for the movie adaptation of the trilogy.
In March, Universal Pictures and its Focus Features division acquired rights to produce the movie version, which has led to plenty of speculation about who’ll star and direct.
Angelina Jolie has reportedly expressed desire to direct, while “American Psycho” author Bret Easton Ellis began lobbying to write the screenplay via a series of tweets on Saturday.
“I’m putting myself out there to write the movie adaptation of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” he wrote. “Hope EL James doesn’t think I’m being a prankster. I really want to adapt her novels for the screen. Christian Grey is a writer's dream …”
The writer also tweeted that he’d “briefed” his team and that they “will be approaching the studio this week.”
Ellis’ rep emphasized the author’s interest, saying “He’s really determined and excited about the prospect of making this happen, as his tweets indicate.” The rep also noted that Ellis and James are both published by the Vintage/Anchor division of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
Ellis, who knows his way around cruel and emotionally damaged characters, is a plausible choice for screenwriter, but we hear the decision is up to James.
Our source says the author, chosen as one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” this year, has “input in everything” on the film version. “I think it was part of the agreement when she sold the book,” says the source. This also includes casting choices.
Ellis tweeted a number of his casting ideas as well, but perhaps mindful of angering James, has since deleted them. In the role of Grey he sees Alexander Skarsgard , Alex Pettyfer or the actor who seems to be his first choice, Ryan Gosling . He also envisions Scarlett Johansson or Kristen Stewart as Ana, although both actresses have avoided nude scenes in the past. Stewart is also so closely associated with “Twilight” that she may not be a viable candidate.
A spokeswoman for EL James had no comment.