Who at Universal Is Throwing E.L. James Under the Bus?


While E.L. James reasonably takes the full blame for the Fifty Shades of Grey books, can she also take the full blame for the (what’s likely to be) terrible quality of the movie? Certain people at Universal certainly want you to think so.

Fifty Shades‘ release is one week away and already those involved in the film, mainly director Sam Taylor-Johnson, are making excuses for it.

As Taylor-Johnson told Vanity Fair back in January:

“I kept trying to remind myself that they hired me for a reason. Some people said to me, ‘I’m surprised you haven’t quit.’ I was like, ‘Why would you think I’d quit?’ I never quit anything. Not without a fight.”

And on E.L. James:

“We battled all the way through. She’d say the same. There were tough times and revelatory times. There were sparring contests. It was definitely not an easy process, but that doesn’t mean to say that it didn’t come out the right way.”

More recently, Taylor-Johnson reiterated her contentious relationship with James to Porter magazine:

“It was difficult, I’m not going to lie…We definitely fought, but they were creative fights and we would resolve them. We would have proper on-set barneys, and I’m not confrontational, but it was about finding a way between the two of us, satisfying her vision of what she’d written as well as my need to visualize this person on screen, but, you know, we got there.”

Today, “sources within the film” reported (via The Hollywood Reporter) that James insisted on going with a different ending than the one preferred by the director and producers (spoilers at the link).

Practically everyone who’s not James and the Fifty Shades actors (who are contractually obligated to participate in a painful press tour) appear to be distancing themselves from the project, but is that really fair?

Sure, the source material is James’ and James’ alone but a lot of different people were involved in making this movie a reality. There were the Universal Studios executives, the director, the actors, the producers and—yes, of course—E.L. James herself. They all made this bed and now, no matter how much they regret it, they have to lie tied up in it.

Image via Getty.

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