'Fifty Shades of Grey' Screenwriter Plans NC-17 Rating

2012-12 REP Fifty Shades of Grey Book Cover P

Now that Universal has prevailed in fevered bidding for the erotic trilogy "Fifty Shades of Grey," some in Hollywood are pondering not only whether the graphic books really can be made into a successful movie but also how many of the author's extraordinary demands for control were met by the studio.

"We are 100 percent going there," says Kelly Marcel -- but the studio and one of the film's producers say there's nothing to rate yet.

Could Universal's Fifty Shades of Grey be handcuffed with an NC-17 rating?

The first crush Internet speculation around the film version of the popular trilogy, which sold to Universal for $5 million, centered on who would star in the hotly anticipated film. While writer E L James has kept mum about who she might be considering to play Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, screenwriter Kelly Marcel is dropping a few hints about what might be onscreen.

Labeled "mommy porn," Fifty Shades is known for its graphic, blush-inducing sex scenes, and Marcel seems to be planning for a lot of that to make it onto the big screen. “We are 100 percent going there,” Marcel said in a recent interview with The Sunday Times. "It will be rated NC-17. It will be raunchy."

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That would be news to Universal, which, through a spokesperson, said that's not the case. “A screenplay has not yet been written, a rating has not been designated, and we have no further comment,” the studio rep said.

That theme was echoed by producer Dana Brunetti, who told The Hollywood Reporter, "The script isn't even written yet, so how could we know how [the MPAA's Classification and] Ratings Board will rate it?"

All official announcements about the 50 Shades of Grey film will be made through its Facebook page, Brunetti added.

Typically studios try hard to keep movies away from an NC-17 because some of the nation's largest theater chains often refuse to play films with the restrictive adults-only rating. 

Marcel could not be reached for comment.

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"[James and I] did go through and decide which are our favorites and which are not," Marcel told the Times. "Most of them are in there, but I can’t say more than that."

In a recent interview with THR, James talked about working with Marcel. "I think we wanted to make this a fun and interesting experience. And so far, so good," she said. "We’ve got a fantastic team, and I hope it’s going to be very rewarding for all of us. And fun as well. There’s no point in doing it if it’s going to be hell. What’s the point?"