‘Fifty Shades of Grey’: Emma Watson is Not Playing Anastasia Steele [Updated]

Published 2 years ago by , Updated March 18th, 2013 at 8:21 am,

emma watson fifty shades grey Fifty Shades of Grey: Emma Watson is Not Playing Anastasia Steele [Updated]

The Fifty Shades of Grey book trilogy’s success is fascinating, in terms of how it (quite literally) originated as erotic Twilight fan-fiction. That is, before author E.L. James tweaked the narrative and character elements and published it as a work of sexploitation for adult readers (as opposed to Stepheneie Meyer’s soapy coming of age/supernatural romance source material for tweens).

Universal Pictures scooped up the movie rights last year – carefully dancing around the sexually explicit subject matter within its official confirmation - and was quick to hire screenwriter Kelly Marcel to adapt the book, but has since announced nothing save for chairman Adam Fogelson saying it could be arriving in theaters as soon as Summer 2014. No surprise, the absence of information has fed rumors about who’s playing the female lead, Anastasia Steele.

Harry Potter alum Emma Watson is current a heavily-rumored candidate for that role (emphasis on RUMORED), thanks to documents listing her as “attached” to the project. The leak resulted from hackers breaking into the internal server for the German studio Constantin Films, prompting Universal to issue an official statement (via USA Today) that “No one has been cast yet.” So, yeah, we can lay this rumor to rest for the time being.

UPDATE: See For Yourself.

… Then again, since we’re talking about it: would it even make sense for Watson to accept a role like this? And can a Fifty Shades of Grey movie be anything but a bad joke taken way too far?

Perks of Being A Wallflower Logan Lerman Emma Watson Fifty Shades of Grey: Emma Watson is Not Playing Anastasia Steele [Updated]

Logan Lerman and Emma Watson in ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’

Marcel is not a “name” screenwriter right now, but she is the creator of the defunct sci-fi television series Terra Nova and scripted Disney’s forthcoming Saving Mr. Banks (which may become an awards contender when it opens in December). She has also made it known that her Fifty Shades of Grey script is not going to be just some artistically-bankrupt and trashy romance cash grab, saying:

“Regardless of what you may think of [James'] writing, this is a modern love story, involving two complex characters, and that’s what I’m interested in. You have to work at it and talk about s— and figure it out, regardless of what that s— may be. I don’t care what anybody says, there is something about Christian [Grey] that is old-fashioned and romantic.”

Watson is transitioning into the adult stage of her career, following her turn in last year’s bittersweet-nostalgic high school look-back The Perks of Being a Wallflower with roles in the apocalyptic raunch-com This Is the End and Oscar-winner Sofia Coppola’s crime-drama The Bling Ring (as well as Darren Aronofsky’s Noah in 2014). Point being, if she were to decide that Marcel’s Fifty Shades script truly is a worthwhile love story for grown-ups – and a respectable director were to sign on and lend the whole project more credibility – then the prospect of Watson agreeing to play Miss Steele wouldn’t be so mind-boggling – dare we say, it might even be somewhat appropriate (given her other post-HP role selections to date)?

How about it, then – can you fathom someone with acting cred like Watson signing on for Fifty Shades of Grey? Could the movie prove to be this generation’s Basic Instinct – or just the new Showgirls? Let us know what you think in the comments section (and please, keep it civil).


Source: USA Today

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  1. Oh God no.


    • Let’s pray to the Lord thy God that Emma be discounted from this disgusting movie

  3. No no no no no no no!!!! *sob, sob*

  4. Ummmmmmm…..

  5. I thought she was an actor not a porn star.

    • Exactly! And she needs to understand this! Man I dont want to live in this world anymore

      • It’s not even porn, they have sex like 3 times and just talk about pervertet stuff. It’s a book for middle aged women, not for men.

  6. So this is news because if she accepts the role we can expect some explicit sex scene from Emma? Or am I missing something?

  7. Blake Lively would be better.

    Im so conflicted. I hate 50 shades of grey but…but…if its emma watson getting down…

    • I’m with you man..

    • +1

      • +9001

  9. Career ruined!

  10. For anybody who saw her, to put it lightly, ‘explicit’ photos I’d say this be hardly a major shock if she was to be in 50 Shades of Grey.

  11. first question, will fraser where are these photos u speak of?. And B, this could b the best news ive heard all year. Emma’s the hottest chick in Hollywood if u ask me.

    • I assume he means the blatantly fake ones of her near a hot tub that came out a few years ago. Someone put Emma’s head on someone else’s body and claimed it was a real image.

      • No. I never even knew there was one with her in a bathtub. It sounds like your offended though

        • Offended they weren’t real, sure lol

          But seriously, I don’t know how you took my response as sounding like I was offended in any way. I really wasn’t and am confused at your judgment of my comment.

  12. Emma herself has said she’d love to play that role hasn’t she?

    Anyway, I know I wouldn’t see it regardless because I read a few pages of one of the books and thought it was terrible.

  13. Garbage. But you know it will make a billion dollars. I was in Italy this summer and walked in to one of their rest stop/gas stations along their main highways. First thing I see…a 6 foot tall display of 50 Shades of Grey books.


  14. Well if Emma graduated from the Mickey Mouse Club this is the sort of thing I’d expect, but as it is I really doubt there’s gonna be any truth to this.

    • This is the thing I was saying though, Emma herself has stated that if they made 50 Shades movie, she’s love to be in it because she enjoyed the books.

      I wish I could remember where and when that was said so I could link to it.

      Besides, Daniel Radcliffe got full front naked in Equus and his career hasn’t stalled so why not the same for Emma, even if the movie is based on a piece of trash book that had no right to even be published?

      • As far as I know, Emma has claimed a few times that she knows very little about 50 Shades of Grey. In one interview she did for Perks, it was brought up jokingly and she said no.

        In a television interview she did with Jonathan Ross, she again said that she didn’t know anything about the book when asked. The only one who has reacted positively is Mila Kunis.

      • It’s not that the potential for nudity is in itself bad, but that ‘young actresses who are done with their career-making roles’ usually seem to go into these sort of things for the sake of it, or for altering their image, or whatever, whereas Watson’s been fairly conservative and careful with herself over the years – so given that we haven’t really seen anything concrete linking her to the movie (as Adrian has pointed out), my guess is just that it won’t happen at present. (Whereas at this stage any one of those former Disney teen stars would probably jump at it)

        Of course, if the script turns out well and she decides it’s worth her time, I wouldn’t rule out her involvement, but there’s no use speculating I think.

  15. Forget ‘career ruined’. How about ‘childhood ruined’? I’m not going to see this stupid movie anyway but if Emma’s in it then I’ll just be in my room sobbing for the rest of my life.

  16. Why not use an actor who nobody cares about? Someone who we’d all like to disappear by destroying her career doing this movie. Miley Cyrus comes to mind. She’s a real life W**** so… *shrugs*


  18. BREAKING NEWS: Emma Watson’s Not Doing ’50 Shades of Grey’

    • I hope so man, I hope so

  19. This piece of crap needs to die. NO MOVIE!!!

    I doubt this is true, I think she’s smart enough to not get into such a sh*tty role.

    That “book” is crap. The characters are flat and horrible and the story itself is just glorified and romanticized abuse.

    Whenever I see people attach names like Emma’s or Hiddleston’s to this I cringe and shake my head.

    This movie will be garbage. Yuck.

    • I agree with you. I’ll assassinate E.L James if Emma does this

      • I am SOOO with you. I was in London last semester for school and I swear I thought I saw E.L James and I was going to let her know just how bad her crap really was. I adore Emma, I truly hope she does not do this movie. I still cannot wrap my mind around the fact that it’s being made into a movie and that people actually like it.

        Besides, that writer up there saying “there is just something about Christian Grey that is old fashioned and romantic” I mean is she kidding? He’s crazy! What woman in her right mind would ever allow a man to treat her like that? I understand some enjoy the BDSM thing but even some of them commented on how that book ruins what they enjoy because it’s ludicrous! Emma is to classy and smart for this movie. Please do NOT do it Emma! I implore you!

        • Indeed. It gives a bad impression about men in general. Not all men are billionaire sadistic bastards who enjoy tying up women and use them as sex objects. I as a man myself believe women should be loved and taken care of

  20. I knew that sooner or later this would happen. Emma starring in a movie that i couldn’t in good conscience watch. If it isn’t 50 shades, it will be something else.

    • Exactly. Has anyone ever seen candid interviews with Emma? She is not even close to that Harry Potter character and makes it a point to separate herself from it. Doing some sort of flick where she goes full nude/graphic sex scene is inevitable… that’s kinda the person she is.

      • “Kind of person she is” Pffft.

        Seriously weird how people delude themselves into thinking they know people they don’t.

        Maybe she will and maybe she won’t but the best you got for now is speculation.

      • Clearly we haven’t seen the same interviews. She’s always very graceful, witty, and knows how to take a joke. The anti-Hollywood girl that is a huge departure from the Lohans, Hiltons, etc.

        And, like Hermione Granger, she’s big on education and while she hasn’t graduated just yet she’s in her second or third year of university. At Brown University, an Ivy League school, no less.

        • No she isn’t anymore.

  21. first off ive been the biggest Harry Potter fanatic there is and Emma Watson has a special place in my heart lol but she is a great actress and having actually READ the fifty shades books there really not as trashy as you might think, it is actually a pretty good love story and after how good she was in Perks of a Wall Flower she would be great for this role..

    • I cannot even imagine a HP fan, who has Emma in a special place in their actually enjoying this book. I am a Potterhead and I adore her, I support her career in acting and everything because I grew up watching her play my favorite character in the HP universe. I would NEVER want her to be in this movie. To play a character that is LIGHTYEARS behind Hermione Granger. Playing Anastasia “Idiot” Steele, is like taking a step back.

  22. My Wife was working one night, and some of the other night nurses were discussing what “50 Shades of Grey has done for their sex lives.” They said to her “Shannon, you should read this book and you can imagine what it will do for your sex life.

    Wife response,” Four Nurses, Married. Two of you have been married for 15 years, one of you have been married for 10 years and one of you have been married for 8 years. Four Women, no children. I have been married for 25 years, I have 5 Kids. Point. There is nothing wrong with my sex life.”

  23. 50 Shades of Grey. Is not for Men, it strictly for Women. Women with deep rooted problems in their lives.

  24. Emma if you do this I’ll kill myself. Please Emma dont lose your dignity and respect. Please, this disgusting book is demeaning for all women and men. O Lord thy God please help Emma

    • Dude you need help you thing Emma give a damn about you and your thoughts?

      • First learn English and then come to argue. It’s not about Emma giving a damn, it’s about what’s right and what’s wrong. It is you who needs help, with his English that is

    • F**k E.L James, that perverted bastard

    • Women don’t want an abusive d!ck. The book is trash, because it makes abuse look like romance and BDSM.

      It’s not romantic, it’s not hot and it’s not a BDSM relationship.
      There is nothing safe, sane or consensual about most of the scenes in it.

      I hate this book because it makes abuse look okay. Same with twilight. No surprise, because this trash is a fanfiction of that other trash. It’s like “ah, it’s okay if he’s a creepy bastard and treats you like garbage.. because he’s soooo hot and soooo mysterious” UGH. What even?

      There are quality erotica books out there for all those who are so unfulfilled. I don’t know why exactly this became such a big deal.

      I weep for humanity that this is a best seller.

      • What Scyllaya said. These books are trash.

  25. I really don’t get why people think her career will be ruined if she took this role? Are we all in bible study right now? Sex sells people!! Amanda Seyfried was a low key actress, then she kisses Megan Fox in “Jennifer’s Body”, then she gets naked and sleeps with Julian Moore in “Chloe” and now she can get any role she wants. If Emma Watson wants to be taken more seriously she will show some skin. Anne Hathaway was stuck in limbo for the longest time, then she got naked in “Love and Other Drugs” and I really believe that’s what got her the Catwoman role in DKR.

    It is in many ways wrong, but SEX is the biggest industry on Earth and if you can line up some appealing actresses who’s goods haven’t been seen yet, you will sell as many tickets as you want; and that will sky rocket any attractive woman to Hollywood’s A list. Don’t judge, you know it’s true. 50 Shades of Grey is the ultimate stage for sex. If Emma does this role and does it well, it could put her on top for a very long time.

  26. Emma tweeted about the rumour. Like I said before, she is obviously not doing it.

    This rumour was ridiculous.

  27. Praise the Lord thy God. She is not doing it. She tweeted about it. Go check