'Fifty Shades of Grey' Screenwriter Set to Pen New Movie ... for Kids

After experiencing heartbreak on the set of Fifty Shades of Grey, one screenwriter decided to take on a project that you might call the polar opposite of the S&M flick. Kelly Marcel will write Disney's 101 Dalmations spinoff Cruella, a live-action film based on the puppy-hating villainess Cruella de Vil.

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Thanks to the success of other live-action Disney movies like Angelina Jolie's Maleficent, which earned $758 million, and Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, which grossed a whopping $1 billion, the studio is reportedly fast-tracking Cruella and has announced three more live-action movies in production. Future projects include The Jungle Book (April 15, 2016), Burton's sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass (May 27, 2016), and Beauty and the Beast (March 17, 2017).

A release date for Cruella, which will star Downton Abbey's Lily James in the title role, has yet to be announced — but, judging by the slow-as-molasses Fifty Shades Darker's production schedule, I wouldn't be surprised if Marcel's film hits theaters first.

More from The Stir: 'Fifty Shades' Screenwriter Finds the Film 'Painful' to Watch

If you recall, there is no love lost between Marcel and Fifty Shades author EL James. Marcel famously jumped ship after the first film in the trilogy, along with director Sam Taylor-Johnson, because neither could link their more artistic visions with James's desire to maintain a literal interpretation of the book. Marcel wanted to begin the movie at the end of the book and incorporate flashbacks — the final product was nothing like she had imagined and the screenwriter says she can't even bring herself to watch the movie in its entirety because the experience of making it was too painful.

Cruella will obviously be a very different kind of project for the writer, but given her negative experience with James, I'm betting she can't wait to jump right in and contribute her talents elsewhere. When I heard about how James and the Fifty Shades writer bumped heads, I felt for Marcel. It must be a nightmare to collaborate with someone who is so sure of what she wants — and who dismisses your vision in the process (assuming that's all true).

I understand Fifty Shades is James's baby, but a screenwriter's job is very different from that of a novelist — at some point, James should have given a little more creative control to the people she hired to bring her book to life. At the end of the day, James's husband Niall Leonard will be a better fit for Fifty Shades Darker and I'm happy that Marcel has moved on. It's good to know everyone involved has found a project that works for them.

 

Image via London Ent/Splash News 

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