To the delight of the books’ millions of fans, a film version of the third, final volume of E L James’s FIFTY SHADES trilogy, published by Vintage, arrived on film screens worldwide Thursday night from Universal Pictures, timed anew for pre-Valentine’s Day viewing.
FIFTY SHADES FREED again stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey respectively, directed by James Foley from a screenplay by the author's husband Niall Leonard.
FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, FIFTY SHADES DARKER and FIFTY SHADES FREED have sold more than 150 million copies worldwide. Last month, Vintage published a special boxed set, FIFTY SHADES Trilogy: The Movie Tie-In Editions, with movie-art covers plus a film poster.
In prelude to the film’s release, E L James made a rare personal appearance in Los Angeles, where she signed books for a big crowd of fans.
Watch the FIFTY SHADES FREED trailer:
Several motion pictures based on our books are debuting on theater screens across North America this fall, beginning this weekend and continuing into the pre-holiday season. Our hope is that the old adage – “see the movie, read the book” – will continue to prevail among filmgoers. Read on, and watch the trailers.
September 22: “Victoria & Abdul”
The extraordinary friendship between an elderly, ailing Queen Victoria and her young Indian companion, Abdul Karim, is chronicled in Shrabani Basu’s book, VICTORIA & ABDUL: The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant (Vintage). Lonely in the wake of the deaths of her beloved Prince Albert and John Brown, and increasingly isolated from the cocooning royal entourage, Victoria and Abdul formed a platonic bond, and to the dismay of her staff and son Bertie he became an empowered figure in her court and a friend close to her heart. In the film, directed by Stephen Frears, Dame Judith Dench portraysQueen Victoria and Ali Fazal plays Abdul Karim. Michael Gambon and Eddie Izzard are also part of the cast.
Watch the trailer:October 6: “The Mountain Between Us”Charles Martin’sTHE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US (Broadway) is a life-affirming tale of love and survival. Following a plane crash, a pair of strangers – one a doctor, the other a writer – are stranded in the remote wilderness of Utah. With winter closing in, no food or water, and only meager supplies, the pair is forced to rely on one another. As the days in the mountains become weeks, their mutual survival becomes increasingly perilous. The film, starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba, was directed by Hany Abu-Assad and written by Chris Weitz and J. Mills Goodloe, based on Martin’s book.
Watch the trailer: October 20: “The Snowman”Jo Nesbo’sTHE SNOWMAN(Vintage), the eighth Harry Hole novel, revolves around a bizarre missing-person’s investigation that sets Hole on the trail of an elusive and brutal serial killer. One night, after the first snowfall of the year, a boy wakes up and discovers that his mother has disappeared. Only one trace of her remains: a pink scarf, his Christmas gift to her, now worn by the snowman that inexplicably appeared in their yard earlier that day. Inspector Hole suspects a link between the missing woman and a suspicious letter he has received. The case deepens when a pattern emerges: over the past decade, eleven women have vanished—all on the day of the first snow. In the film, directed by Tomas Alfredson and written by Hossein Amini and Peter Straughan, based on Nesbo’s novel, Michael Fassbender plays Hole, with the cast also including Rebecca Ferguson, Val Kilmer, Chloe Sevigny, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and J. K. Simmons.
Watch the trailer:November 17: “Wonder”R. J. Palacio’sWONDER (Knopf Books for Young Readers), a multi-year #1 bestseller, with more than 6 million copies sold, and inspiration for the #ChooseKind movement, is the story of Auggie Pullman, an ordinary kid with an extraordinary face. Born with a facial difference that for the first several years of his life prevents him from attending school, Auggie is finally allowed to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep – but is the school ready for him? In this long-awaited film, Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson star as the parents of Auggie, portrayed by Jacob Tremblay. Stephen Chbosky directed and Steve Conrad wrote the screenplay, based on Palacio’s book.
Watch the trailer:December 15: “Ferdinand”
The Grosset & Dunlap classic children’s book, THE STORY OF FERDINAND by Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson, originally published in 1936, tells the story of the world’s most peaceful and beloved bull, one that prefers smelling flowers to chasing red capes held by matadors in the bullfighting arenas of Spain. FERDINAND, the movie, based on Leaf’s book and directed by Carlos Saldanha, is a timeless tale of pacifism and nonviolence for all ages, and proves “you can’t judge a bull by its cover.” Kate McKinnon, John Cena, Bobby Cannavale, and Gina Rodriguez are among the actors who give voice to the characters in the animated film.
Watch the trailer:
Author Meg Howrey is a former dancer who performed with the Joffrey, Eglevsky Ballet, and City Ballet of Los Angeles. She toured nationally with the Broadway production of Contact, for which she won the Ovation Award in 2001 for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. During her writing career, Meg has been the author two novels for Pantheon/Vintage, Blind
Sight and The Cranes Dance, and the coauthor of two bestselling novels for Penguin, City of Dark Magic and City of Lost Dreams, published under the pen name Magnus Flyte.
Ms. Howrey’s new book, THE WANDERERS, which goes on sale from G. P. Putnam’s Sons on March 14, has been described as “Station Eleven meets The Martian.” This brilliantly inventive novel is about three astronauts training for the first-ever mission to Mars, an experience that will push the boundary between real and unreal, test their relationships, and leave each of them—and their families—changed forever. Wonderfully imaginative, tenderly comedic, and unerringly wise, THE WANDERERS explores the differences between those who go and those who stay, telling a story about the desire behind all exploration: the longing for discovery and the great search to understand the human heart.
In this “Meet Our Author” interview, Meg takes us inside the heart of her creative life:
How would you describe your writing regimen and routines?
I alternate writing sitting at a desk with standing up at a sort of jury-rigged podium. In both places there is much gesticulation and theatrical facial expressions and mumblings. Making a book is a form of performance art. I’m a slow starter and will spend months on the first one or two chapters. Whether I’m writing two hours a day or ten, each book feels like its own particular beast and requires different regiments of feeding, care, and grooming. Books can bite or run away so you have to stay calm and be patient.
What was the genesis of and the inspirations behind your new novel, THE WANDERERS?
I read a newspaper account of a study conducted by the Russian and European space agencies to investigate the psychological effects of a long duration space mission. I thought, “Well, that’s interesting but wouldn’t what you’d feel on an actual mission to Mars be substantially different from what you’d feel in a simulator?” And then, “Possibly not, if the simulation was very good,” and also, “That would make a cool setting for a novel,” followed by, “It’s too bad I can’t write that novel since I don’t know anything about space.” So, the beast of this novel entailed a lot of research. Some of the themes I’ve tried to work on in other books are here: consciousness, ambition, the constructs of family, the problem of deciding what is real, and what “real” means.
How have you been able to find the time and the creative energy to achieve success as an author, dancer and actress?A thing about dance is you start so young you can have had a ten-year career by the time you’re in your mid-twenties, especially if you don’t go to college, which I didn’t. The acting really came out of the dancing—every once in a while somebody needed a ballet dancer who actually wanted to speak, and there weren’t that many of us. (Basically, there was the really beautiful one, the one who could also sing, and me.) Whatever else I was doing I was always, always reading, and trying to write came out of that. With all these things—dancing, acting, writing—I never feel that I’ve arrived. I’m always squinting at goalposts.
You are among a handful of Penguin Random House authors whose books have been published by multiple imprints, in your case Pantheon/Vintage,Penguin and Putnam. How has this experience helped shape your writing career?
An accurate reckoning in my “Acknowledgements” section would run to twenty pages. THE WANDERERS exists because of the generosity of Shelley Wanger and everyone at Pantheon/Vintage, and Carolyn Carlson and many delightful Penguins, and now Tara Singh Carlson and a fantastic team at Putnam. Through five books I’ve been reinventing myself, and these people have given me the space to do it. There aren’t enough thank you cards.
Will you see it this weekend? Fifty Shades Darker,based on the second volume in the #1 bestselling E L James trilogy, published by Vintage, was given the full red carpet treatment for its Los Angeles premiere last week in The Theatre at Ace Hotel. Before hitting the carpet, Ms. James joined the film’s director James Foley as well as stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan at a masquerade ball for fans at Vibiana in downtown L.A.
Fifty Shades Darker opens Thursday night with preview showings on more than 3,000 screens across North America.
Here’s hoping that classic mantra “See the movie. Read the book” will be a popular call to action these coming days.
Watch the Fifty Shades Darker filmtrailer from Universal Pictures here.
[caption id="attachment_5015" align="aligncenter" width="512"] Pictured (left to right) Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson, James Foley and E L James[/caption]