The Straits Times
Feb 10, 2015
It is the news all Fifty Shades Of Grey fans in Singapore were hoping to hear - the erotic drama, which has been given an R21 rating, will open in local theatres on Thursday uncut.
With the 20 minutes of kinky scenes between mysterious business tycoon Christian Grey (played by British actor Jamie Dornan) and innocent college graduate Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) intact, expect temperatures to rise uncomfortably - and the number of movie-goers wearing jackets to fall - in cinemas.
Here are five facts you might not have known about the 125-minute film, adapted from the best-selling eponymous novel by author E. L. James.
1. Merry-go-round for the role of Grey
Author James' first choice to play the "tall, dark and enigmatic" Christian Grey with more skeletons in his closet than Bluebeard was Twilight star Robert Pattinson. Canadian actor Ryan Gosling, English supermodel David Gandy and US actor Garrett Hedlund were all considered by Universal Pictures.
The role first went to Pacific Rim star Charlie Hunnam in Sept 2013, but he dropped out weeks later, citing scheduling conflicts and anxiety issues. Names such as Alexander Skarsgard, Theo James and Christian Cooke were mooted as replacements, but it eventually went to relative unknown Dornan.
The Northern Irishman, a former Calvin Klein model, is best known for his roles as Sheriff Graham in the ABC television series Once Upon A Time and a serial killer in drama series The Fall.
2. Tension between director and author
Director Sam Taylor-Johnson, 47, admitted to plenty of "creative fights" between her and James.
"It was difficult, I'm not going to lie," she said in a magazine interview on her attempt to satisfy the author's vision of how the book would appear on the big screen.
Trivia: Angelina Jolie was also in the running to helm the film before the job went to Taylor-Johnson.
3. Dakota Johnson's ashamed (sometimes) of the film
Playing an innocent virgin who's deflowered - and subject to plenty of spanking, whipping as well as other sado-masochistic acts - meant that the daughter of well-known US actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith inevitably got the occasional attack of guilt.
Johnson, 25, revealed that she banned her parents from watching the film, although she never felt uncomfortable shooting the sex scenes.
But unlike her co-star Dornan, who prepared for his role by visiting bondage clubs, she settled for on-set advice from a female dominatrix. The pair got into shape mainly through cardio workouts and running. Her favourite saucy sequence?
The "champagne/ice cube down the chest moment".
4. Phenomena and public outcry triggered Fifty Shades of Grey
Being adapted into a film is merely the tip of a very large iceberg for the racy book trilogy, which has sold over 100 million copies worldwide - even more than pulp hits like The Da Vinci Code.
From inspiring a line of baby clothes to a new burger called "15 Shades of Bacon Burger", you would have thought it could not get more outlandish.
But no - the owner of a hotel in the UK reportedly swapped out all the bibles on its rooms for the book. It has also predictably sparked a surge in sales for the sex toy industry.
Meanwhile, anti-pornography and anti-abuse campaigners have had a field day opposing it, while groups against domestic violence are planning protests at the film's premiere over the Valentine's Day weekend. The American Family Association even labelled it an "evil" film that "glorifies abusive relationships and tendencies such as stalking, bondage sex, intimidation and isolation".
5. Two sequels already confirmed
Fret not if you do not get enough of the first film.
Two sequels, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, were announced by Taylor-Johnson last week during an advance screening.
Who cares if the first film flops critically? Judging by the epic response to its July trailer (it became the most watched trailer in 2014 with over 100 million views on YouTube), it is bound to be a box-office hit.
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