Bret Easton Ellis Passed Over for ‘Fifty Shades’ Adaptation

If you happen to follow the infamously exorbitant novelist/screenwriter Bret Easton Ellis on Twitter, you know the influx of entertainment never stops. Not only has he been late-night post-Ambien binge-tweeting about everything from wanting to bang Breaking Bad’s Walter Jr. to thinking The Newsroom would be better if Eric Cartman replaced Jeff Daniels, Ellis’s recent main public outcry has been devoted to his desire to adapt E.L. James’s erotica-for-moms novel, Fifty Shades of Grey, for the big-screen.

Clearly from his posts, one can gather that the man is exceedingly passionate about the project and has done all but get down on hands and knees and beg for the chance to adapt it himself. Everyday he’s been yammering on about everything from the necessity of casting a straight actor, to how to cinematically structure certain scenes from the novel, to minute details of the characters, etc. Really, it looked like he had it all figured out. But as of yesterday, it was announced that Ellis would not be included on the short list of screenwriters up for the job. 

To be fair, the book—I’m assuming from the bit I tried to swallow—is awful, and the adaptation will be nothing more than a quick Hollywood cash-grab to bring in drooling women from all corners of the earth. However, for all of his incessant and obnoxious touting, it seems Ellis, if anyone, would be the perfect person to take this on. But let’s look at the four writers on the shortlist: Dan Fogelman (Crazy Stupid Love, Cars, Tangled), Veena Sud (The Killing, Cold Case), Karen Croner (One True Thing, Cold Sassy Tree), and Kelly Marcel (Terra Nova). Judging from their prior work, one could assume that whichever of these four takes on the adaptation would do it pretty literally as straight-forward film, aiming to stay true to the “seriousness” of the novel and provide you with a nice two-hour visual romp intented to get you a little hot and bothered.

But what Ellis does best—and what he would no doubt do with Fifty Shades—is making basic human characteristics, traits, and situations so absurd and over-the-top that they fall into the realm of satire. (Did no one see The Informers?!) Anyhow, the fact that he is no longer in contention for the job hasn’t stopped him from obsessively informing the world of his thoughts on how the film should run. Currently: denouncing Matt Bomer for the role of Christian Grey. 

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