Ever since Deadline broke the story that Universal Pictures and Focus Features won screen rights to the E.L. James novel Fifty Shades Of Grey for in the neighborhood of $4 million against 5% of first dollar gross, the line of suitors who didn’t get it are treating it like the Lord Voldemort of auction titles — it’s the missed opportunity whose name must not be spoken. While buyers have moved on to the possible book franchise of the moment — Lissa Price’s YA body-switching title Starters — there might be another bite at the forbidden fruit of that S&M romance novel, which started as Twilight fan fiction, was rewritten by the author as an erotic romance trilogy, and became an e-book sensation that sparked multiple millions in publishing and film deals.
Gersh is shopping to producers and Foundry is out to publishers on The Fifty Shames Of Earl Grey, a parody novel written by Andrew Shaffer (best known for penning the publishing industry Twitter feed @EvilWylie). The book focuses on college student Anna Steal and corporate titan Edward Gray (his last name is sometimes spelled Grey and everybody just calls him Earl). Besides being a parody of James’ first novel, Fifty Shames boasts of an excerpt from a sequel novel called Fifty Shames In Space, and also a list of all of Earl’s 50 Shames. It’s a wide-ranging list, including: “Caning,” “Prefers Jay Leno Over David Letterman,” “Teabagging,” “Doesn’t Get Mad Men–like, at all,” “Team Jacob,” “Pegging,” and “Thinks Tim Burton is kind of overrated.” Plenty of others are too lewd for this site.