02/21/2013 09:13 am ET

'Fifty Shades Of Grey': Summer Of 2014 Release Teased By Universal Head

Rumors about the "Fifty Shades of Grey" movie have sprouted up on the regular over the last year, but the project is still in its infancy.

Kelly Marcel is set to adapt EL James' best-selling S&M novel, but no one has been attached to the film as director or star. (Which doesn't mean there isn't speculation about who could play novel protagonist Anastasia Steele in the big-screen version of "Fifty Shades"; most recently, Mila Kunis said she's not not interested in the part.) Universal and Focus Features own the rights to the "Fifty Shades of Grey" trilogy, but has the studio waited too long to capitalize on the novel series' zeitgeist-crashing moment?

"I certainly understand why some people might take that point of view," Universal chairman Adam Fogelson told THR. "But I don't believe that [James] had any interest in going to a studio where rushing it into production was the vision. I don't believe that the second or third film would have benefited from that strategy. And I think that there are totally legitimate questions about what this book is as a movie. I will tell you that it is an absolute priority for us. It's conceivable that we could be ready to release it as early as next summer."

At one point there were rumors that Angelina Jolie could be involved as director, but those were shot down almost immediately. Fogelson himself told THR that the studio's discussions with Jolie were for another project.

If Universal and Focus are serious about pushing "Fifty Shades of Grey" out in 15 or 16 months, expect 2013 to be filled with casting short lists, news and debates. For now, "Fifty Shades of Grey" remains without a release date, but keep next summer open.

For more from Fogelson, head over to THR.

[via THR]

Casting 'Fifty Shades Of Grey'