The Turner Prize nominated Artist, Sam Taylor (Wood) – Johnson is to direct a film of the blockbuster erotic novel 50 Shades of Grey. This will be her second major film after her forgettable, 2009 feature, Nowhere Boy, a story based on the early life of Beatles’ guitarist, John Lennon. The film starred her current husband Aaron Johnson, who she married after divorcing the (White Cube) gallerist Jay Jopling.
50 Shades is an overhyped trilogy written by the talentless author, E L James. It has sold more than 70 million copies worldwide. These commercial figures prove that a book aimed at the lowest, common denominator, airport novel reader, can and will succeed. The book tells the unrealistic story of a sadomasochistic relationship between the billionaire businessman, Christian Grey and “unworldly, innocent” literature student Anastasia Steele.
Michael De Luca the producer praised the director’s “unique ability to gracefully showcase complex relationships dealing with love, emotion and sexual chemistry”.”EL James’s characters and vivid storytelling require a director who is willing to take risks and push the envelope where needed and Sam is a natural fit,” he said.
Unlike the Turner Prize winning artist Steve McQueen, who has successfully turned his hand to the cinema (Hunger, Shame), Ms Taylor-Johnson proves it is difficult to make the jump from Artist to filmaker.
Question: What is Ms Taylor-Johnson doing with her life? Answer: The OBE awarded artist, obviously flattered by Hollywood’s offer to direct this potboiler, is purely in it for the money.