Sam Taylor-Johnson will direct Fifty Shades of Grey, the adaptation of EL James' steamy, best-selling book.
James broke the news via Twitter Wednesday afternoon saying she was "delighted and thrilled." Universal Pictures and Focus Features released a joint statement following the initial announcement.
46-year-old Taylor-Johnson's directorial debut was in 2009 for Nowhere Boy, a biopic chronicling the earlier years of John Lennon starring her 23-year-old husband Aaron Taylor-Johnson of "Kick-Ass" fame.
“For the legions of fans, I want to say that I will honor the power of Erika’s book and the characters of Christian and Anastasia," Taylor-Johnson said in the statement. "They are under my skin too.”
Film producer Michael De Luca added, “Sam’s unique ability to gracefully showcase complex relationships dealing with love, emotion and sexual chemistry make her the ideal director to bring Christian and Anastasia’s relationship to life." He added, “EL James’ characters and vivid storytelling require a director who is willing to take risks and push the envelope where needed, and Sam is a natural fit.”
Universal Films and Focus Features acquired the rights to the bestselling trilogy last March for an astounding $5 million. The companies later brought Kelly Marcel in to write a script for the film.
The three books have sold more than 70 million copies worldwide.