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Something something Fifty Shades, something something Bret Easton Ellis

In the latest in a series of slow news day-saving incidents that we might as well group together under the headline ‘Chris has had a long, tiring day and needs a big, fat, easy target’, full-time Fifty Shades of Grey cheerleader and occasional novelist Bret Easton Ellis has once again refused to let a piffling thing like flat-out rejection by its makers stand in the way of his weighing in on every aspect of the book’s forthcoming cinematic adaptation. Remember when people used to freely admit to reading Bret Easton Ellis? Weird times.

Earlier this week, Ellis claimed (via his consistently eyeroll-inducing Twitter feed) to have what he called ‘inside information’ on the casting of the film, suggesting that the eponymous (I guess?) role of Christian Grey could go not to Ryan Gosling – whom previous reports and the Venn Diagram overlap between fans of Fifty Shades and proprietors of all those ‘hey girl’ Tumblrs had cited as a frontrunner – but to Ellis’s Close Personal Friend James Deen (not a typo, and for the love of God, if you’re in work just take my word for it and don’t Google that until you’ve read the next paragraph).

In its way, the casting would be weirdly apt, because Deen – for anyone who doesn’t keep up with feminist memes, which, come on, what is wrong with you? – is a porn star, widely lauded as a ‘boy next door’ type and embraced (to say the least) for his non-threatening looks and personality by a brace of women who normally wouldn’t be caught dead watching porn. His appearing as Christian Grey would potentially help to legitimise porn actors in mainstream cinema, in much the same way that E.L. James’ book opened the floodgates (as it were) for sales of erotic fiction.

Of course, I could speculate that Deen’s carefully maintained persona is perhaps too nice-guy-ish to convince as someone who needs to break out whips and such (incidentally, look out for my ice cream parlour of that name opening later this year – it’ll be fifty flavours of fun!), but then I’d be engaging with this in a manner that would only play into Ellis’ hands.

So why should you care about any of this, you’re probably wondering? In all honesty, you shouldn’t, except that it continues to be the biggest thing to happen to publishing since Harry Potter, and keeping abreast of all subsequent developments as it trundles on is likely in everyone’s best interests. Their dreary, inane, repetitive interests. See you next slow news day.

Bret Easton Ellis, cinematic adaptation, E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey, James Deen

Chris Ward

Chris Ward

Chris Ward writes and says things about books and music and films and what have you, even when no one is reading or listening.
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.

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