• World

Can a Risqué Novel Go Mainstream?

1 minute read

It’s hard to imagine a book with fewer literary pretensions than Fifty Shades of Grey, a mega-selling erotic novel inspired by the Twilight books. But when Sam Taylor-Johnson (below) was tapped to direct the movie version, which debuts in February, the project suddenly seemed intriguing. A darling of the British art world and the director of the John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy, Taylor-Johnson is familiar with taboo themes, as demonstrated in her photographic series Men Crying. Why would a woman with such a highbrow pedigree take on something quite so …unseemly? “There was something about it that resonated,” she says of her reaction to the book. “There’s a traditional fairy tale, but with dark twisted elements that I could see would be fun to work with.”

More Must-Reads From TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com