ENTERTAINMENT

Sam Taylor-Johnson Hired As '50 Shades Of Grey' Director

06/19/2013 03:58 pm ET | Updated Jun 20, 2013

Deadline.com's Mike Fleming was the first trade reporter to break the news on Wednesday, thus closing out one of the longest directorial searches in recent memory. (Author E L James was actually first to report the hiring of Taylor-Johnson.)

Taylor-Johnson, who directed the film "Nowhere Boy" about John Lennon's early years, is married to "Savages" star Aaron Taylor-Johnson. TheWrap report Jeff Sneider, in reporting on the Taylor-Johnson news, originally spit-balled that the 23-year-old star could potentially play "50 Shades of Grey" title character Christian Grey in the film for his wife. A recent update to Sneider's story, however, notes that Aaron Taylor-Johnson is "not expected to pursue the role."

Speculation about who would direct "50 Shades of Grey" dates back to last June when Deadline.com floated the rumor that Angelina Jolie would direct. In April of this year, TheWrap noted that Gus Van Sant filmed test footage of a potential "50 Shades of Grey" sex scene with Alex Pettyfer playing the role of Christian. May brought a new name to the table: "Anna Karenina" director Joe Wright, who was attached to the film until he wasn't. Deadline.com noted that Wright's schedule didn't allow for "50 Shades of Grey," which Universal had originally wanted in theaters by next summer. Other big names that were thought to be in contention for "50 Shades of Grey" included Patty Jenkins ("Monster"), Bill Condon ("Twilight: Breaking Dawn"), Bennett Miller ("Moneyball") and Steven Soderbergh ("Magic Mike"). According to TheWrap, Darren Aronofsky was also asked about the film, but declined because of scheduling conflicts.

For more on Taylor-Johnson, head over to Deadline.com.

Casting 'Fifty Shades Of Grey'
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