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Big Studios in Bidding Wars for 'Twilight'-Inspired Story 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

March 24, 2012, 5:18 am GMT

All the final bids, which come from such big studios as Universal, Sony, Paramount and Warner Brother, are expected to be submitted to its writer E.L. James by Friday, March 23.



After the success of "Twilight" movie series, major studios are fighting over the rights to turn "Fifty Shades of Grey", a story that started out as a fan fiction of the Stephenie Meyer novels, into a movie in hopes to score big when it hits the big screen. Those who get in the middle of the bidding wars include Universal, Sony, Paramount and Warner Brothers. HBO, however, is rumored to have refused to join the pitch.

Inspired by teen romance between Edward Cullen and Bella Swan, the story was written by British writer E. L. James, mother of two who works as a TV executive. Described as "a mommy porn," it revolves around a dominant/submissive relationship between a billionaire named Christian Grey and a naive college student named Anastasia Steele.

Offering a much darker story than that of "Twilight", the material was originally titled "Master of the Universe" and posted on a fan fiction website for a free reading. Due to its highly positive responses, it's then printed and yanked off the free story-sharing site. It now has been turned into three books including "Fifty Shades Darker" and "Fifty Shades Freed".

Top executives from most of the studios reportedly have met James and her literary agent Valerie Hoskins for negotiations. Accordingly, the teams delivered presentations, some of them were highly elaborate, to explain why they are the best candidates to handle the project. All the offers are exepected to be submitted to the sellers by Friday

Top-notch movie makers like "J. Edgar" producer Brian Grazer, "Rock of Ages" director Adam Shankman and "The Break-Up" producer Scott Stuber are said among those who are interested in the project. They allegedly are scheduled to meet the sellers later in the week.

"I think it will get insane," one producer predicted the bidding number. "It will go for an upfront fee between $3 and 5 million."

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