Fifty Shades of Grey was not a good book, but it was certainly a unique one; it’s safe to say that no other best-seller this decade has ever included ben wa balls in so pivotal a role. But like Anastasia Steele herself, a story this beautiful is also fragile; with undue tinkering, the people behind the upcoming Fifty Shades movie may lose their grip on the erotic insanity of the original, turning it into just another late-night skin flick. Will that happen? We’ll know for sure on February 13. In the meantime, here’s a list of everything we know that’s different so far.
This list will be updated as more changes make themselves known.
The film will not feature any visible male genitalia. “There were contracts in place that said that viewers wouldn’t be seeing my … todger,” Jamie Dornan told the Guardian, introducing American readers to an amusing bit of British slang in the process. He implied it’s just not possible to have male full-frontal nudity in a mainstream film: “You want to appeal to as wide an audience as possible without grossing them out. You don’t want to make something gratuitous, and ugly, and graphic.”
The infamous tampon scene is out. The book version of Fifty Shades includes a memorable scene in which Christian Grey forcibly removes Anastasia Steele’s tampon as a method of foreplay. According to the filmmakers, they never for one second thought about filming the tampon scene. “It didn’t make it into the movie,” director Sam Taylor-Johnson told Variety. “It was never even discussed.”
There is no “gratuitous” sex. Apparently, the original draft of the film’s script faithfully included much of the story’s cornucopia of sex scenes. That proved to be too extreme, especially since the filmmakers hoped to avoid an NC-17 rating. “It’s say [the ratio of banging to not-banging] is pretty 50/50,” Taylor-Johnson explained to Variety. “I think the sex scenes are integral to the story. They are not gratuitous.” Previous reports said the film was “more romantic than sexual.”
In fact, the amount of sex has been cut roughly in half. Mr. Skin took a timer to a screening of Fifty Shades and found that roughly 20 of the film’s 100 minutes were devoted to sex scenes. That’s nowhere near Taylor-Johnson’s stated 50 percent split. (Vulture’s experts estimate that sex scenes made up roughly 35 to 40 percent of the novel.)