Be still our hearts and twitchy palms: The producers of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie have announced their screenwriter! Kelly Marcel will adapt E.L. James‘ erotic bestseller for the big screen; in our rush to cast anyone and everyone, we forgot that they hadn’t even settled on who would write the actual script.
Not surprisingly, James had a hand in choosing who would adapt her hallowed text, so perhaps it’s not surprising that Focus Features and Universal Pictures went with a relative unknown (who’s a Brit, we might add). Marcel’s IMDb profile is surprisingly bare: Although her script Saving Mr. Banks was on the 2011 Black List, it’s only just now getting produced. Otherwise, she created the short-lived dinosaur show Terra Nova but has written little else. She has about 1,100 followers on Twitter, though I imagine she’ll soon gain many more once the news gets out to Fifty Shades fansites.
“Kelly’s work demonstrates her flawless structural technique and passionate commitment to emotion, humor and depth of character which is particularly visible in the celebrated screenplay for the upcoming Saving Mr. Banks,” producer Michael De Luca said. Added Dana Brunetti: “We were all taken with the depth and passion of Kelley’s engagement with the characters and world E L James has created and we knew she was the right person to augment our Fifty Shades family.”
Turns out the buzz isn’t limited to in-house: Earlier this year, IndieWire listed her among upcoming screenwriters to watch—mostly because of her work with Tom Hardy. She met him after doing extensive rewrites on his movie Bronson, and the two started up The Bad Dog Theater Company. Remember his ridiculous unaired comedy pilot Candy Chops that we dug up a while back? Marcel co-wrote that.
It turns out she’s got several other projects lined up. So really, she only appears to be a newbie when instead she’s just looking for that project to really break through. Perhaps Fifty Shades could be that!