Hey, remember when I reviewed The Mister, the new book by EL James that combines the deft sexuality of 50 Shades of Grey with the hard-hitting social realism of Taken? A book where a man’s penis is described as being ‘Large. Hooded. Flexible’? Remember my pain? I’ll never forget. Alas, despite my warnings — or maybe because of them — the book still topped the best-seller charts and seems to be doing comfortable business for its publisher. Granted, I don’t see people talking about it with the same fervour as 50 Shades, and every shop I’ve seen selling copies has been doing so at half price, but hey, who am I to judge? Just kidding, I’m judging so hard.
Well, EL James is still on the promotions bandwagon for it. She hasn’t done a massive amount of publicity for the project aside from a big interview in The New York Times where it is noted that she goes off on an unsolicited rant about how much she disliked the first film of her book. Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and written by Kelly Marcel, the first 50 Shades of Grey movie wasn’t exactly well received but a lot of critics made note of how, when it transcended its truly pants source material, there were intriguing ideas worth exploring. Perhaps that’s why James is so keen to heap scorn upon it.
She continued this slamming in an interview with The Times, which is behind a paywall but has been excerpted various times over on sites like the Daily Mail. She said that there were ‘a lot of things’ she would have changed about the first film and that she ‘had a far more creative process on the second and third movie, working with someone who had vision and dynamism and embraced the material.’ A reminder that the screenwriter on the other two movies is her husband. ‘As a woman holding on to your IP [intellectual property] it’s like what the f**k.’
Yup, much feminism, Erika.
It’s worth noting that Sam Taylor-Johnson and Kelly Marcel have both been pretty candid about how much it sucked to work on that movie and how much of that was because of James. Taylor-Johnson told Porter in 2015, ‘It was difficult, I’m not going to lie. We would have proper on-set barneys and I’m not confrontational.’ To this day, gossip persists about the virulent nature of said ‘on-set barneys’, with much of the blame lying on James’s shoulders. A source told The Hollywood Reporter, ‘EL is just not experienced. She was given a lot of power but had never been through a movie shoot. [She] just didn’t seem to grasp that in all adaptations, some things need to change. You can’t just put the book on the screen.’ If you’re up on your industry gossip, you’ll have heard the more full-on rumours of James’s screaming matches. James ultimately won because her contract allowed for a level of creative control most authors just do not get with their adaptations, and the result was two more movies that were god-awful.
But the interview with The Times got even more galling when James said her fans were just clamouring for her to write a new erotica series featuring two gay men, to which she replied, ‘Never say never.’
No. Say never. Let’s just agree that you never said or thought that and throw that idea into the ocean. The AUDACITY of this woman! Can you imagine how fetishistic and super homophobic her take on a story like that would be? You just know she would try to make one of the men ‘the woman’ in the relationship. And oh dear lord the stereotypes. Every fifth word would be ‘gurrrrrrl’. I will not allow this to happen. If I have to single-handedly stop it myself, I will! The culture is relying on us to put an end to this!
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