Palme d'Or honoree Gus Van Sant seems very eager to helm Universal and Focus' new project "Fifty Shades of Grey". According to The Wrap, the two-time Oscar nominee has filmed a test reel for the adaptation of E.L. James' erotic novel with the help of Alex Pettyfer.
The 60-year-old director reportedly shot a steamy sex scene where Anastasia Steele loses her virginity to Christian Grey. The "Magic Mike" actor, who was cast just for the tape, served as kinky billionaire Grey. Meanwhile, the identity of the actress who played Steele remains unknown.
When asked for confirmation, Universal Pictures spokesperson said that the studio had not made any approaches to directors or actors yet. The rep added that they had not commissioned any test reels as well.
Acquiring the rights for turning the erotic novel into a film version in March 2012, Universal and Focus Features spent $5 million to beat other big studios, including Sony, Paramount and Warner Bros. It is said that the pop culture phenomenon is expected to be transformed into a big franchise for the studio.
"The Social Network" producers Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti have been on board the project after personally picked by E. L. James. The author has also appointed "Saving Mr. Banks" writer Kelly Marcel to pen the screenplay.
In June 2012, Angelina Jolie was allegedly in early talks with the studio to serve as the director. Before the arrival of Marcel in the project, "American Psycho" writer Bret Easton Ellis took to Twitter to voice his interest in writing the script.