In the age of modern fiction you have authors like Stephanie Meyer, JK Rowling, Stephen King and so many more all dominating the shelves thanks to their pedigrees and ability to target a certain demographic, or audience, with their works. In this crowded field of talented authors, though some would argue against Meyers inclusion, there stands one that does not belong yet puts them all to shame from a financial stand point: E. L. James. James is the author of the self published-turned global sensation, Fifty Shades of Grey. You might think you know all there is to know about the erotic novel and movie, but just wait. Listed below are ten shocking, jaw dropping facts about Fifty Shades of Grey.
Ana rehashes a phrase over 52 times in just the first book.
E.L. James was not a professional writer when she put Fifty Shades of Grey up for download on the internet, and that is something we’ll get more into later. So it shouldn’t surprise us to hear that the author had her own linguistic crutches — one of which made the main character Ana almost unreadable. During the first book Ana spoke about her ‘inner goddess’ fifty two times. If you did a set of push ups every time she spoke that phrase during the book then you would have the hot new weight loss program on hand and she would have been the reason for your loss weight.
The film adaptation has made over $500 million dollars!
Housewives and young adult women the world over started licking their lips when the news broke that E.L. James novel was going to be getting a cinematic treatment. Many people rolled their eyes at the film translation getting any sort of money at the box office with most people citing the subject matter turning people off due to the fact that it would likely be reigned in for a broad audience. All of the scoffing turned out to be for no reason as the R rated film ended up raking in $570 million worldwide, the majority of which came from outside of the US marketplace. Fifty Shades set the record for February and Winter releases and still sits in the top 120 spots of best selling movies of all time on a simple $40 million budget. If you tell this fact to a friend that is driving then you better hope you have good car insurance, because they might crash!
E.L. James has already outsold one of the most popular books of all time.
J.K. Rowling became something of a literary goddess when she released her Harry Potter novels to both critical and popular success. Over the years Harry Potter has turned into one of the most enduring series of our generation and it likely will stay that way. Yet in a few short years E.L. James and Fifty Shades of Grey quickly outsold her young adult competition. To this date we’ve learned that the Fifty Shades series has sold over 31 million copies so far, speeding past several of Britain’s top selling books.Don’t worry Potterheads, you don’t need to head to the nearest drug rehab center because Rowling’s Potter inspired movies are still head and shoulders above Fifty Shades in terms of box office earnings and critical reception.
Though Twilight and Fifty Shades might share demographics, there is no love between them!
If Stephanie Meyer had it her way she would never have to look at the Fifty Shades novels ever again. The author has admitted, with some sense of irony we suppose, that she has no interest in the series. Meyer’s disdain for Fifty Shades has set up quite teh rivalry between the two female centric fandoms in the literature world and it works pretty well for both, keeping their series alive with renewed interest and vigor despite the series being finished in their literature form.
E.L. James sold the film rights of Fifty Shades of Grey for $5 million!
We outlined above how successful the film adaptation of Fifty Shades has been so reading about the relatively small $5 million seems particularly jarring. Don’t worry, E.L. James isn’t running to the nearest drug rehab facility. In fact, he $5 million deal is actually quite a lot for someone at her position. With the success of the first film we can only expect book sales to continue and that will keep James’s name in the spotlight, effectively giving her more and more success. Not a bad bargain all things considered, especially when $5 million is considered chump change by the author at this point.
Angelina Jolie declined an offer to direct Fifty Shades of Grey.
Before E.L. James had any idea that she wanted to make a book, much less a living as a writer, Angelina Jolie was tearing up Hollywood as one of the premier, A-List stars in the industry. Jolie has had an amazing career that has recently taken on a new angle as she pushes further into the directing sides of things. We now know that Jolie can succeed as a director (Look at Unbreakable for proof) but before she had cemented her status she was offered the chance to helm Fifty Shades. Jolie declined the offer and is now directing her husband, Brad Pitt (you may have heard of him), in her next project.
Fifty Shades of Grey was initially Twilight fanfiction!
This is probably the most well known fact in the Fifty Shades universe but it is no less stunning. E.L. James initially had begun writing the story with Edward and Bella of Twilight fame as the leads. However, fan reviews were so astounded by the erotic content that they started petitioning E.L. James to change the characters and create her own story instead. These rocky reviews would pave the way for the mega success story that James is living in today.
The film adaptation had trouble landing a leading man!
It’s easy to see why Fifty Shades would struggle to get a leading lady for its film adaptation. It’s hard to get a big name actress to agree with the copious amounts of nudity and sexuality that would be involved. However, the producers thought that they would be able to reel in an A-List leading man anyway. However, this proved to be far from the truth. Ryan Gosling turned down the role of Christian Grey as did Garret Hedlund, Chris Hemsworth, and Charlie Hunnam. Hunnam actually agreed to the role momentarily but apparently got cold feet when it started to run afoul of his other work. We think he just finally realized how gratuitous the series actually was. Eventually the role would fall into the lap of Irish hunk Jamie Dornan. Dornan started off his career working as a model before dipping his toes in stardom thanks to his breakout role on the hit show, Once Upon a Time.
J.K. Rowling was BANNED from reading the series!
If J.K. Rowling is the author with the golden touch then Rowling’s editor believed her touch capable of being tainted. In a hilarious and mildly insulting story, Rowling admits that her editor forbid her from ever reading the series. Her editor told Rowling that she wouldn’t want the series to ‘taint the goddess’ that is Britain’s most prized modern literary export. We can’t say that we blame her but we aren’t completely sure of the sincerity of the story. There is plenty of reason for there to be bad blood between Rowling and James as far as their work is concerned, considering just how quickly James rose to fame and fortune when compared to Rowling’s slow ascent up the ladder.
E.L. James has the most INCREDIBLE pen name!
E.L. James is shortened from the author’s actual name, Erika Leonard. However, if Erika had her preference then she could have stuck with her original pen name: Snowqueen’s Icedragon. That’s right, at one point in time there was an anonymous writer named Snowqueen’s Icedragon who was writing Twilight fanfiction so erotic that its fanbase asked her to create her own world of characters to write about. The craziest part about this story is that it ended in massive success, showcasing that anyone with passion and drive, regardless of their profession, can find their way to success in the end.