'50 Shades' Movie Almost Ended Up Going in a VERY Different Direction

Maressa Brown Say What!?

jamie dornanShooting on Fifty Shades of Grey may be all said and done, but that isn't stopping Hollywood insiders who weren't involved in the film from talking about what could have been ... had it been their project. Namely, writer Bret Easton Ellis and Good Will Hunting director Gus Van Sant, who recently chatted about it on a podcast.

Ellis admitted he was obsessed with it from the get-go, explaining, "It was one of the few novels I've read recently where I've thought automatically, 'Oh, this is a movie!'" He then asked Van Sant -- who reportedly made a test film with Alex Pettyfer to try out as the director -- what his interest had been in the project.

His blunt answer:

My interest was just purely the sex. That it had this possibility that there's this barrier that our audience has a problem going past and being part of a real world because it's too X-rated.

Innnnteresting. Does he mean, in other words, that he was hoping to push the boundaries of what we would accept in a mainstream movie theater?

If they had known in advance the movie was going to be the first NC-17 -- or even X-rated, as Van Sant puts it -- flick to be successful financially, I'm guessing a lot of directors would've loved to have been associated with it! But judging from producers' comments, it seems like that in the end, they decided to dial down the sex and steer toward a more romantic plot, with hopes of bigger box office success as a result. And while that will be to some fans' dismay, I do think that was the wisest way to go.

Van Sant's boundary-pushing way, on the other hand, sounds like a route the producers were smart to avoid!

How would you have felt about the movie taking the direction Van Sant describes?

 

Image via Evan Agostini/Getty

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fifty shades of grey, movies