Commentary: on the Casting of Fifty Shades of Grey

Quick Commentary – sometimes the Fanboys run you, and other times you run the Fanboys…

I think the first time I heard about this legendary story called Fifty Shades of Grey had to of been at the end of last Fall.  I won’t elaborate on the circumstances, but let’s put it this way: the conversation I had with the lady who brought it to my attention peaked my interest to the point I had to look into this set of novels.  Once I found that the story was not for me (I distinctly remember two words describing the series – “Mom porn”), I kind of forgot about it.  However, I read the trades pretty regularly, so I was aware that a fairly new director had been tasked to helm the project – and I vaguely remember some backlash about that.  Then, last week at the office, I overheard some ladies talking about the casting and how they weren’t very familiar with this “Dakota lady.”  Again, I forgot about it.  I mean, Ridley Scott’s new film is coming out this October – which do you think is a priority for me?

Then, as I attempted to enjoy my Chipotle chicken burrito this afternoon, I read the trades and happened upon this story –

Which led me to read this link here –

I’ll give you a moment to digest these links: particularly the second one.  (Deep breath.)

OK, and we’re back.  Let me get into this by asking a question of the author of this post: do you think the names that scroll at the end of films are just made up, and the industry runs them because it’s a movie tradition?  How exactly do you think films get made?  Seriously, how do they transition from an author’s computer to your local cineplex?  I can tell you how they should continue to make this transition: without your help.  The bottom line is the producers of the film paid for the rights to the book, they hired the director they wanted, and subsequently they’ve cast those actors that they feel give their project the best opportunity for success.  Simply because you disagree with their casting choices does not – at least, in my opinion – warrant this kind of post.

Mr. Bomer and Ms. Bledel are the perfect cast for these characters, huh?  Perhaps in your mind as you read the book, sure.  Let me use myself as an example: a few years ago, I read several of the Ian Fleming penned James Bond books.  I don’t mind admitting I thought of Clive Owen as Bond as I read them.  But, did I throw a fit or start a campaign to oust Daniel Craig when he was cast?  No, sir!  No, I say: I simply rubbed my chin, scrunched my face and said to myself, “Well, we’ll see…”  The end.  And for the record, Casino Royale is one of the best Bonds ever (but that’s for another post).

All of that said, the point I’m making is this: I am absolutely floored that over 66,000 people – SO FAR – have signed this petition.  I can think of an infinite number of alternative ways for these fans to spend their time.  Why not catch up on your other reading?  Ever read War & Peace?  Because that’ll take a month of your time, brother.  How about volunteering – have you ever taken the time?  Because has literally thousands of other petitions for you to sign that – again, in my opinion – are a wee bit more worth while.  I wonder if any number of these 66,000 petitioners also called 911 in Connecticut a few weeks back when their cable was out?  Did you see that story??  Because the local law enforcement had to post a message on Facebook to the effect of, “Yeah, um, people?  Your cable being out is not an emergency…”  I suppose that’s the thought I really want to extend to you, dear reader: Ben Affleck being cast as Batman does not constitute an emergency.  Nor does the casting of Fifty Shades of Grey.  No one appreciates passion and enthusiasm towards film more than I – but there is indeed a limit…

My final thought is this: if you and your 66,000 plus supporters really feel that motivated to re-cast this story and make the film yourselves, why don’t you do so?  As your post says, “WE CAN DO ANYTHING GUYS, ANYTHING” (incidentally, that’s another question I had – why are you shouting?  Try: Caps Lock – Off)

I think I’m on to something here for your – let’s “crowd-produce” a film and see how that works out.  Have all of those supports donate around $1,515.00 each, which will bring you to the $100 million budget required to make the film – that’s step one.  That shouldn’t take long or be difficult in any way.  Then, reach out to Mr. Bomer and Ms. Bledel’s people and advise them that you’ll need them for four to five months sometime soon.  Shouldn’t be hard either, right?  I mean, money talks!  You’ll probably have to produce the film overseas, and have the script re-written.  But again, with your multi-million dollar budget provided by these 66,000 fans, none of that should be hard.  Oh!  And be sure to credit the screenwriter with, “Loosely based on pre-existing material.”  That way, you will have an easier time distributing the film once the crowd-directed-produced picture in your head is complete: I mean, you have plenty of contacts in theatrical distribution, right?  Even if not, who cares?  You’ll have the darling little movie with the perfect cast that’s in your head to watch any time you want forever and ever.  And that’s worth a petition any ol’ day of the week, Sparky.

Oh, my good heavens: while I’ve been drafting this, the number of signatures has gone from 66,000 to over 67,000.  I’m off to do some push ups.

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