By Colleen Cleary, Monday, June 18, 2012, at 10:05 am.
If you haven’t heard about Fifty Shades of Grey, then you’ve likely been living under a rock. The book trilogy written by British author E.L. James started as an ode to the “Twilight” saga on FanFiction.net—a site where fans of celebrities, books or TV shows will write stories based on established characters—and has since taken off with men and women around the world reading the naughty tales.
How popular is the sexy series? Well, it overtook the Hunger Games trilogy on USA Today’s Best-Selling Books list and has secured a top position on the New York Times Best Sellers list for the past 15 weeks.
Universal Pictures and Focus Features have already secured the movie rights, and speculation is sweeping the Internet as to who will play the feature roles of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. People.com readers have chosen Amanda Seyfried as the female lead and there is a three-way tie among Chris Pine, Ryan Gosling and Henry Cavill to play Christian. Rumors have even attached Angelina Jolie to the action as a possible director.
More famous people have gotten into the Fifty Shades action in other ways:
Apparently readers of the trilogy have even been inspired to visit adult toy stores, which have reported that in-store and online sales have spiked since the book’s release. With this kind of crazed popularity and a movie in the works, it’s no surprise that the team behind the racy novels has partnered with a licensing agency to create Fifty Shades–branded merchandise. The licenser has said she will explore branded “lingerie and sleepwear, apparel, fragrances, beauty products, bedding, home furnishings, stationery, jewelry and adult products.”
After hearing the news, the PR person in me couldn’t help but think, What would that product launch event look like?
[photo: CBS 2]