Fifty Shades of Grey

Though there’s no cast yet, Universal and Focus Features are ready to go with their adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey, so much so that they’ve set a release date. With filming yet to begin, the ticking clock has started as the film is set to hit theaters August 1, 2014.

That means it will be opening up against Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which is much further along in the casting process, but also hasn’t begun shooting yet (and will likely require a million times more post-production work). Though it’s being handled stateside by Focus Features — which usually handles the more art-house fare of Universal’s calendar — this is likely to be hitting 3,000 screens, and will play everywhere.

Which also means there may be a lot of compromises to the material. This summer we’ve seen countless people killed in PG-13 movies that don’t show much blood, the question is if they’ll go for a PG-13 with Fifty Shades, and then how much sex they can get away with that doesn’t show much of anything. As the book has scenes that involve tampons, sex toys, and sadism and masochism, it’s going to be interesting to see how far they can go, period. But then if it does try to go all four-quadrant PG-13, how much can you show or not show and still be an adaptation that satisfies the fans? And as the book has become shorthand in pop culture for “female masturbation material,” how do you get a male audience to show up? If nothing else, it’s going to be fascinating to see how it’s handled.

Admit it, have you read Fifty Shades of Grey?