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First, a word of caution: If you're going to click the link, brace yourself for a picture from the irritating "sexy" shoot that they had director Samantha Taylor-Johnson do, because ultimately all women in Hollywood should remember they're objects first.

Anyway, since the 50 Shades movie started filming, on-set "sources" and other leaks have floated the idea that Sam Taylor-Johnson and EL James (the book's author) were constantly at each other's throats because of James's fears that Taylor-Johnson was doing too much to change the film from the book's original vision.


Color me cynical, but two things about these stories (which Taylor-Johnson has continued to perpetuate in the recent interview linked above) make me both annoyed and suspicious.

The first is the endless and frustrating media narrative that two women cannot cooperate with each other in a work environment. While Taylor-Johnson does make a point of arguing that these were creative fights and that were always resolved, fights happen on film sets and TV sets constantly. It's just that we tend to capitalize on the women-centric ones.

The second issue is that it all just sounds like bullshit PR to make skeptics wonder if maybe — just maybe — Taylor-Johnson actually turned one of the worst bestsellers of all time into something... good. I still don't know how I actually feel about 50 Shades, but even I can admit that story-wise there wasn't a lot to go on when trying to turn this into a movie. And even if Taylor-Johnson had tried to create a new plot or at least a more coherent narrative, it doesn't seem to be reflected in the promotional trailers, clips, and stills we've seen so far.

But there's also an element of discomfort I feel with the idea of advertising an author's adapted work by endlessly winking at the audience and telling them, "Don't worry, I didn't let her get too much of a word in."

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