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Why Universal Will Probably Never Make The 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Film NC-17


fifty shades of grey

We may not know who will play the leading lady and man in the adaptation of E.L. James' steamy "mommy porn" book, "Fifty Shades of Grey"; however, it looks like the much-anticipated film may receive an NC-17 rating. 

Screenwriter Kelly Marcel told The Sunday Times her plans to keep the film about billionaire Christian Grey and his BDSM relationship with Anastasia Steele as close to the book as possible. And, from the sound of it, she doesn't plan on holding anything back. 

"We are 100 percent going there," said Marcel. "It will be rated NC-17. It will be raunchy."

However, fans everywhere may want to keep their pants on as there's no certainty the film will actually get the rare rating.

Why not?

Well, for one thing, Universal reportedly has no knowledge of Marcel's plans yet.

Both a spokesperson for the studio and film producer Dana Brunetti told The Hollywood Reporter there isn't any screenplay on which to base a rating.

Also, we're not sure if there's enough material in the first book for the film to justify an NC-17 rating. 

Sure, Grey gives the girl a contract to waiver her rights to a list of submissive desires including the use of riding crops, flogging, and there's the fact that Ana's never allowed to touch him throughout any of their sexual endeavors. 

However, much of the novel revolves around the fact that a BDSM-style relationship is new to the 22-year-old Steele.

It's not like the characters are having sex every minute of the book. 

50 shades of grey erotica"Fifty Shades of Grey" is about a virgin grappling with the idea of a sexual fantasy life. At the same time, it's about the darker secret revolving around Grey's personal past that led him to this BDSM lifestyle.

What scenes from the book could lend themselves to the potential NC-17 rating from the MPAA?

You can read over the book's naughtiest bits here, but to give you a PG-rated idea of Fifty's dirtiest laundry, these are a few picks that stand out: 

  • A hot elevator makeout session.
  • Ana's naive reaction to Christian's nude body.
  • Ana's joyride with some silver ben wa balls.
  • Christian's dirty talk in the bedroom.
  • There's also another scene depicting Grey hitting Steele with a riding crop while handcuffed.

However, the worst thing to happen to Steele – other than the riding crop – is that she gets violently spanked in the bedroom by Grey, resulting in her running off near the end of the novel.

That's it. Spanking. The two aren't going hot and heavy for 300+ pages of the erotic thriller. 

secretary movieMuch of the dominant-submissive relationship reminds us of 2002's "Secretary" with James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal (interestingly enough Spader's character is also named Mr. Grey). That film's rated R.

For fans who helped the book rise to the top of best-selling charts last year, they may be excited by the idea of an NC-17 rated film, but there's plenty more reason Universal may be against it.

NC-17 films have never fared well at theaters. 

  • "Crash" (1996) featuring James Spader and Holly Hunter earned $2 million at theaters. (The film only made it into 339 theaters.)
  • "Showgirls" (1995) earned $20 million in total.
  • "Last Tango in Paris" (1973) featuring Marlon Brando and having an X rating earned $36.1 million.

Other erotic and BDSM style films have received R ratings ("Nine 1/2 Weeks""Color of Night" which featured Bruce Willis). They didn't make a splash at theaters either.

Universal coughed up $5 million last March to beat out ten other studios for rights to the film, so they may not be so apt to risk it on an NC-17 film. 

Of course, none of the previous films had as mass a following as "50 Shades." 

SEE ALSO: The final installment of "Twilight" receives 11 Razzie nominations > 

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