Bret Easton Ellis’s Five Stages of Grief Over Fifty Shades of Grey

Stefania D'Alessandro/Getty Images/Vintage Books

Just after midnight last night, somewhere in the upper levels of the Doheny Plaza condos, before the glittering backdrop of the West Hollywood skyline, a dream died.

Bret Easton Ellis, the Internet’s foremost self-declared candidate to adapt E.L. James’s pop-smut best seller Fifty Shades of Grey, got on Twitter to announce to his 320k-plus followers that he was out of the race. For those of you who don’t subscribe to this particular newsletter, when he hasn’t been spearheading a vitriolic social media takedown of Deadline editor Nikki Finke, Ellis has been spending the summer of 2012 putting together his Team Fifty fantasy league, polling his followers for their favorites to play the leads Christian Grey and Ana (possible candidates: Matt Bomer, Ian Somerhalder, Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Tom Hardy, Ryan Lochte(!!). OK, he was really only interested in casting Christian Grey) and generally treating Twitter as his public pre-production diary for a film that he had never formally been attached to in the first place.

Apparently, it was getting a little too weird/sad, so someone had to mercy-kill this apparently self-sustaining Hollywood dream. (To add insult to injury, today news broke that The Killing‘s Veena Sud stands a better chance of getting the job than he does.) After the news was broken, Ellis had no other choice but to document his grief over the project. What follows is the emotional fallout, (with Kübler-Ross-aided annotations) ripped from the tear-stained e-pages.

1. Denial


Delusion is basically a form of denial, right?

2. Anger


“Major disappointment,” “somehow” … OK, so it’s not exactly fire and brimstone, but to be fair, he’s been channeling the bulk of that energy to his alleged neighbor in recent months. So for now, this will have to suffice as BEE’s version of typing so f—ing hard he might break his f—ing MacBook Air!!!!!!!!

3. Bargaining


Sorry, people who’ve moved on don’t guilt-@-reply the people who’ve broken their hearts. BEE obviously hasn’t watched enough Bachelor/ette to know that the post-elimination crawl-back/sympathy plea is never a good look.

4. & 5. Depression/Acceptance

Meanwhile, three floors down, Nikki Finke sent off a text to Focus CEO James Schamus (“TY BB! Totes stoked 4 ParaNorman IOU!!”), closed her laptop, switched off her bedside light, and drifted off to sleep to the sweet sound of Ellis’s mournful sobs, which no 25-year-old could quell that night. “The empirelives …”

Filed Under: Bret Easton Ellis, Movie News, Twitter

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Emily Yoshida is an editor at Grantland.

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