Today in 'Fifty Shades': Banned in Malaysia, sold out in the Bible Belt, made by people who can't stand each other

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

We're just T-minus nine days from the theatrical release of Fifty Shades of Grey, and Fusion's Highly Anticipated Movie Adaptations of Erotic Romance Novels Bureau is working overtime to help you prepare for (probably?) the steamiest President's Day Weekend ever. Here's what you need to know today:

  • Director Sam Taylor-Johnson told Porter magazine about her fraught relationship with Fifty Shades novelist E.L. James (who we sometimes like to imagine is R.L. Stine's sexy alterego) during production.

"It was difficult, I'm not going to lie. We definitely fought, but they were creative fights and we would resolve them. We would have proper on-set barneys, and I'm not confrontational…"

["Barney" is British slang for "heated argument," or "cheerio guvnor Pippa Middleton innit."]

This, in case you've forgotten, is a movie that devotes one fifth of its screentime (that is, exactly ten shades of grey) to sworn enemies Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson—who ooze the chemistry of two people whose families have been embroiled in a generations-long, murderous feud—begrudgingly doing sex at each other. Was there anyone remotely involved in the making of this film who didn't hate everyone else who was remotely involved in the making of this film? Was there one craft services guy who wasn't totally the worst?

This image was removed due to legal reasons.
  • Expected to open to $60 million over the four-day weekend, Fifty Shades is already cleaning up in the generally boning-averse South and the Midwest. Advance tickets are selling nearly four times as well in Mississippi as the average Fandango presale, three times as well in Arkansas and West Virginia, and twice as well in Kentucky, Alabama, and Louisiana.
  • Malaysia's Film Censorship Board has banned the movie ahead of its scheduled February 12 premiere, decrying it as near-"pornography." Fifty Shades recently received an 18 rating in the UK, which means that no minors will be admitted—the equivalent of a American NC-17 rating. Fortunately, it's only rated R in the United States, so teenagers can attend in the company of a parent or guardian. Your move, Mom.
  • Related: Kim Kardashian didn't invite sister Kendall Jenner to her private screening of the film.

The family that sees Fifty Shades together… probably has an uncomfortable experience together.


Molly Fitzpatrick is senior editor of Fusion's Pop & Culture section. Her interests include movies about movies, TV shows about TV shows, and movies about TV shows, but not so much TV shows about movies.

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