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The rise of 'mommy porn': UK writer lures Hollywood with be

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:30 am    Post subject: The rise of 'mommy porn': UK writer lures Hollywood with be Reply with quote

div class="track"img alt="" src="http://hits.guardian.co.uk/b/ss/guardiangu-feeds/1/H.22.4/11633?ns=guardianpageName=The+rise+of+%27mommy+porn%27%3A+UK+writer+lures+Hollywood+with+bestselling+ero%3AArticle%3A1722427ch=Filmc3=Obsc4=Film+industry%2CFiction+%28Books+genre%29%2CSex+%28Life+%26+style%29%2CBooks%2CFilm%2CCulture%2CLife+and+style%2CWorld+news%2CUS+newsc5=Unclassified%2CNot+commercially+useful%2CFamily+and+Relationshipsc6=Edward+Helmorec7=12-Mar-25c8=1722427c9=Articlec10=Newsc11=Filmc13=c25=c30=contentc42=Cultureh2=GU%2FCulture%2FFilm%2FFilm+industry" width="1" height="1" //divp class="standfirst"Major film deal in pipeline for EL James, whose trilogy began as fan fiction online/ppShe is the former west London housewife who has revolutionised the genre of erotic fiction with her bestselling trilogy of novels, emFifty Shades of Grey/em, whose combination of romantic storytelling and themes of bondage and domination are so steamy they have been dubbed "mommy porn"./ppNow EL James is set to conquer Hollywood after securing a multi-million-dollar deal to turn the first of the books into a blockbuster movie in what top producers hope will be the start of a lucrative franchise. For two days last week, James, a former TV writer, and her literary agent, Valerie Hoskins, were holed up in a wood-panelled conference room at Los Angeles's Soho House, accepting submissions for the first of the series from Hollywood's leading producers. The British pair were showered with incentives, including one studio presenting a video of its top female executives praising the trilogy./ppAccording to reports this weekend, $5m is already on the table from Sony Pictures. Producers say they haven't seen such a stampede since the auction for Dan Brown's emThe Da Vinci Code/em. Despite the fever, few producers are willing to talk publicly, though sources point to Sony chief Amy Pascal and producer Scott Rudin as probable winners./ppThe publishing industry has discovered a significant, self-sustaining base of women sharing "slash" fiction at online sites where they may read and talk about their desires and interests; now Hollywood is eagerly following. emFifty Shades/em, say agents and producers, might be only the first of many mined from this new literary seam./ppJames's literary output may be wildly popular – she has sold more than 250,000 copies since last year – but no one is making claims for its literary achievement, a cross between a Harlequin romance, em9½ Weeks/em and the controversial emMama Liz Drinks Deep/em series. "My inner goddess is beside herself, hopping from foot to foot," James writes in one steamy section. "Anticipation hangs heavy over my head like a dark tropical cloud."/pp"The material is really not very good," says one leading producer who was asked to get involved. "There are a lot of producers involved in the auction who you can't imagine having any passion for the material but see it as a pure business opportunity."/ppThe most likely outcome, he added, is that someone will wildly overpay for the book and then try to make the movie inexpensively. But for every emTwilight /emsaga, emHunger Games/em or emHarry Potter, /emthere's emThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo/em, which proved to be a disappointment at the box office./ppJames began the emFifty Shades/em series – emFifty Shades of Grey/em, emFifty Shades Darker/em and emFifty Shades Freed/em – as a series of postings on a href="http://www.fanfiction.net/" title="fan fiction online"fan fiction online/a ./ppThe books centre on the dominant-submissive relationship between 21-year-old Anastasia Steele, a university student, and Christian Grey, a rich tycoon in his late 20s. He subjugates her, whipping her with a leather riding crop, but withholds his emotions./ppA book deal followed last year and sales took off. Now the Knopf imprint Vintage Anchor has snapped up the franchise. When the trilogy is re-released in the US next month, the print run will be 750,000. No surprise, then, that James can do for the film industry what she has done for publishers./ppProducers hope the James genre of "mommy porn" will usher in a new era of erotic film-making. Several adult-themed films are on the way, including a biopic of Linda Lovelace starring Amanda Seyfried and Sharon Stone./ppBut while James will be coming home with millions, the film industry is entering relatively uncharted territory. On the literary side Valerie Hoskins predicts that the phenomenon can only grow because people can read this material on iPads and Kindles "without anybody knowing what they're reading"./ppHowever, there are widespread doubts that a screen adaptation could live up to the expectations. "It may be a new phenomenon of women engaging anonymously with erotic literature online, but it's one thing to read these books privately and it's another watching it in a theatre with hundreds of other people," says the producer who turned down any involvement./ppWhile James and her agent were being elaborately courted, one agent explained that Hollywood's desire for mommy porn – a term coined by the emNew York Times/em – finds its origin in the success of emTwilight/em, a project that was initially aimed at 15-year-olds but soon found legions of fans in women of all ages./ppThose are the same women who embraced emEat Pray Love/em, emSex and the City/em and emDesperate Housewives/em, and made successes last year of emBridesmaids/em and the Oscar-nominated emThe Help/em, as well as turning the Belle de Jour books into surprise bestsellers and a hit TV series./ppAt the same time, films targeted at teenage and adult males have become unreliable performers. Two weeks ago, Disney's $350m emJohn Carter/em joined the ranks of epic flops./ppManagers at Book Soup on Sunset Boulevard said they'd long since sold out of emFifty Shades/em and reported an increase in demand for erotica since the publication last year of a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/mar/04/full-service-my-adventures-bowers-review" title=""Scotty Bowers's emFull Service/em/a, the tale of a homosexual hustler in Hollywood that purported to reveal the sexual secrets of actors such as Errol Flynn, Cary Grant, Charles Laughton and Katharine Hepburn./pp"It started with the Bowers book, but now we're seeing many more people asking for scandalous or erotic titles," explained Manny Chavarria. But this desire will not be immediately sated: theem Fifty Shades/em trilogy is not available until it is re-released on 3 April./pdiv class="related" style="float: left; margin-right: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"ullia href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/film-industry"Film industry/a/lilia href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/fiction"Fiction/a/lilia href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/sex"Sex/a/lilia href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/usa"United States/a/li/ul/divdiv class="author"a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/edwardhelmore"Edward Helmore/a/divbr/div class="terms"a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk"guardian.co.uk/a copy; 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our a href="http://users.guardian.co.uk/help/article/0,,933909,00.html"Terms Conditions/a | a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/help/feeds"More Feeds/a/divp style="clear:both" /

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