Shailene Woodley, the actress who appears as George Clooney’s daughter in The Descendants, is the latest name to be attached to Fifty Shades Of Grey.
The 20-year-old actress, who received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance alongside Clooney, has apparently impressed the novel’s British writer. A feature by trade journal The Hollywood Reporter notes: “Shailene Woodley demonstrated her acting chops in the Oscar-nominated The Descendants and is said to have caught the eye of Fifty Shades of Grey author EL James.”
The screen rights to Fifty Shades Of Grey – which traces the sexual relationship between college graduate Anastasia Steele and businessman Christian Grey – have been acquired by Universal Pictures and Focus Features. The film adaptation is being produced by Mike De Luca and Dana Brunetti, who previously worked together on The Social Network.
However, the project still has no screenwriter, director or confirmed stars. James, a former TV executive who lives in West London, will not script the film herself, but is believed to be playing a key role in casting decisions. Earlier this month (August), Emma Watson dismissed rumours that she has been approached to play Steele, while American teen stars Lucy Hale and Ashley Benson have also been linked to the role.
Woodley is currently shooting The Spectacular Now, a high school comedy film based on an acclaimed young adult novel by Tim Tharp. She has also signed on to star in White Bird, the next movie from Kaboom director Gregg Araki.
Since being published last year, Fifty Shades Of Grey has become notorious for its explicit sexual content and controversial portrayal of a relationship involving BDSM. The novel has now sold more than 5.3 million copies to British readers, making it the UK’s biggest-selling book of all time.