Universal Pictures and Fifty Shades Ltd. are not happy when E.L. James' steamy novel "Fifty Shades of Grey" is "adapted" into a porn movie with the same title. The studio filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in Los Angeles Tuesday, November 27 against the makers of adult film called "Fifty Shades of Grey: a XXX Adaptation".
The original copyright holders of the bestselling novel accuse Smash Pictures and adult video director, James Lane, of violating the "Fifty Shades" copyright and trademark and causing confusion in the marketplace. Universal alleges Smash honcho Stuart Wall for engaging a "willful attempt to capitalize on the reputation of the book."
In the lawsuit, Universal and Fifty Shades Ltd. quote Will's interview with LA Weekly back in summer to prove that he intentionally rips off the sex-themed trilogy for the porn film. "Since they are going to make a mainstream [movie] of the books, too, dabbling in the adult world we're choosing to go with a XXX adaptation which will stay very true to the book and its S&M-themed romance," so Will said back then.
Furthermore, according to the docs obtained by E! Online, Universal states, "By lifting exact dialogue, characters, events, story and style from the Fifty Shades trilogy, Smash Pictures ensured that the first XXX adaptation was, in fact, as close as possible to the original works."
"Beginning with the first XXX Adaptation's opening scene and continuing throughout the next 2 1/2 hours of the film, Smash Pictures copies without reservation from the unique expressive elements of the Fifty Shades trilogy, progressing through the events of Fifty Shades of Grey and into the second book, Fifty Shades Darker. The first XXX adaptation is not a parody, and it does not comment on, criticize, or ridicule the originals. It is a rip-off, plain and simple."
Universal also named distributor Luv Moves a defendant, accusing him of including sex toys with the DVD in a packaging called "Fifty Shades of Pleasure: Play Kit & Movie". So far, representatives for both Universal and Smash have yet to release any comment regarding the copyright lawsuit.
Universal and Focus Features are currently developing an authorized movie adaptation of the "Fifty Shades" trilogy. The project is still in the hunt for its actors and director, but it has already tapped Kelly Marcel as the scribe.
The story of the bestselling book itself follows the S&M relationship of 27-year-old billionaire Christian and college student Ana. Their relationship deepens in the book's sequels, "Fifty Shades Darker" and "Fifty Shades Freed". The first book is included in the New York Times bestseller list.