This morning, the first trailer dropped for Fifty Shades of Grey, the much-anticipated adaptation of E.L. James’s mega-bestselling smut epic. Some members of the Grantland staff have thoughts. Lightning round, go:
Chris Ryan: This is really only going to matter for the relatively slim overlap of people who care about Fifty Shades and have also watched the acclaimed BBC serial killer show The Fall, but somehow Jamie Dornan looks more like the type of guy who keeps mannequins in an abandoned suburban Belfast safehouse in this movie trailer than he does on that show. Not to sound boring, but I’m far more interested in watching this guy try to dominate his barely contained Northern Irish accent while trying to play a character “originally born in Detroit.” Thanks Fifty Shades of Grey Wiki!
Emily Yoshida: Pretty classic trailer structure: establishing shots, music crescendo, introduction of stakes, escalating drama, and finally, of course, sex dungeon. How awesome would it be to be a person who had never heard of Fifty Shades of Grey and had no idea what its central premise was until those last five seconds? You’d have to see this thing because what the living fuck, right? Luckily, the rest of us are off the hook. (We are all seeing this on opening day.)
Juliet Litman: Maybe I’m thrown off by “Grey” in the title, but this seemed surprisingly similar to a bizarro Grey’s Anatomy. A few key similarities: someone with the last name Grey, making out in the elevator, a relationship where the guy is a professional superior to the woman, a sleek and airy set, lots of solid colors. The only difference I can discern is that Grey’s Anatomy hasn’t introduced a sex dungeon. Shonda Rhimes is certainly not above that, but it’s more likely to happen on Scandal. I hope there is some sort of McSteamy analogue to Christian Grey’s McDreamy.
Dan Silver: I was much more interested in this movie when Jax Teller was playing the lead. Aside from his abs, Jamie Dornan does not exude the type of aura I was expecting from a role that was hyped as the epitome of brooding, disturbed manliness. He looks like a poor man’s Fassbender who would get his ass whooped by even the meekest SAMCRO member, like Filthy Phil. I don’t know these books, and therefore, know almost nothing about these films other than the female lead is Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith’s kid, and the film’s directed by Quicksilver’s much older wife. But this trailer does nothing for me. It plays like a trailer for a film I’d find on Cinemax following a Banshee episode. (And how’s that for an idea … Sheriff Hood as Christian Grey? I’d be right back in on this movie.)
Mark Lisanti: Two things about this:
1. If you’re attempting to make the dirtiest/most transgressive mass-market movie of all time, how is your first trailer not a red-band? I get the concept of “teasing,” but a couple of flashes of a riding crop and a glimpse of a walk-in closet-dungeon is not getting the job done. This could be a workplace comedy for the first 90 seconds. Let it all hang out. Let’s chill in the S&M panic-room for two minutes. Give us the guided tour. Show us all the saddles and oversize furry handcuffs and the meticulously curated gimp collection.
2. This could have been Charlie Hunnam’s time to shine, but he got cold feet and bailed out. He could have been “the guy from Fifty Shades” for the rest of his life. Now he’ll just be “the handsomest biker ever from Sons of Anarchy.” Neither of those is going to look great on a tombstone, but at least one feels like a big swing. With an oversize furry paddle.
Amos Barshad: This is uncomfortable but true: Just last week I found a copy of the book, for reasons I dared not ask, in my grandparents’ house. Then I read the first 20 pages, then I skipped to the sex stuff. Frankly, this complicates things for me a bit. In conclusion, I just watched the trailer twice, and I’m totally in.
Mallory Rubin: If we see this together on opening day, per Emily’s suggestion, should we first take a refresher Compliance Training course to decrease the odds of anyone getting fired? In fact, should we do that before we publish this post? Also, it seems like Mr. Dornan’s physique has fallen off a bit since his Calvin Klein days. Shouldn’t Christian Grey have as many abs as sexy toys?
Rembert Browne: “How awesome would it be to be a person who … had no idea what its central premise was until those last five seconds? You’d have to see this thing because what the living fuck, right?”
Yeah, so … this was me.
It went from sexy thriller to “What’s Your Fantasy” by Ludacris in 10 seconds.
David Jacoby: Bill, congrats on the biopic!
Bill Simmons: I liked it.
Finally, a movie that taps into everything I ever wanted from a Bachelor season.