Fifty Shades of Grey film to be written by Terra Nova’s Kelly Marcel

London-based screenwriter hired to bring EL James's best-selling erotic novel to the big screen

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The upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey movie has found a writer in the form of Terra Nova creator Kelly Marcel.

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London-based Marcel, best known for her work on Steven Spielberg’s swiftly-cancelled TV series, has also penned the film Saving Mr. Banks and is the writer of an upcoming motion picture about Walt Disney’s 20-year battle to bring Mary Poppins to the big screen.

Word of Marcel’s appointment was released last night via the Fifty Shades Facebook page, where producers Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti praised her work for its depth, passion and “flawless structural technique.”

“We were all taken with the depth and passion of Kelley’s engagement with the characters and world EL James has created and we knew she was the right person to augment our Fifty Shades family,” said Brunetti.

Fifty Shades of Grey, an adaptation of the first of EL James’s trilogy of erotic novels, is currently in production in the States. The film will star Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson and Colin Farrell, and is being directed by John Lee Hancock. Universal acquired the rights of the best-selling novel for $5m in March.

While the film’s producers are jubliant, Marcel’s appointment has angered novelist Bret Easton Ellis, who earlier this year expressed an interest in writing the Fifty Shades screenplay.

He took to Twitter to voice his disapproval, writing: “Kelly Marcel?!? KELLY MARCEL?!? Kelly Marcel is WRITING the script for “Fifty Shades of Grey”?!? THIS is the movie they want to make? ARGH.

“Kelly Marcel: the creator of (gulp) “Terra Nova” and a Mary Poppins bio-pic has been blessed by EL James and no one can stop her. Dear God.”

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Assuming Fifty Shades of Grey performs as well at the box office as it has in bookshops, Universal also plans to make films of its sequels, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.