Joe Wright is frontrunner to direct 50 Shades of Gray film

British filmmaker JOE WRIGHT has emerged as a favorite to take on the big screen adaptation of erotic bestseller 50 SHADES OF GRAY.

Reports suggest executives at Focus Features, who have acquired the rights to the E.L. James book, are keen to convince the Pride & Prejudice and Anna Karenina director to swap his period movies for steamy sex scenes and sign him up to tackle the project.

However, fans shouldn't get their hopes up just yet - an offer has yet to be made to Wright, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Casting decisions have yet to be made for the lead roles - this week (begs06May13), Canadian TV star Stephen Amell ruled himself out of the running to play masochistic billionaire Christian Gray after meeting with the film's producers, while Harry Potter beauty Emma Watson recently insisted she had no interest in portraying adventurous college student Anastasia Steele after leaked studio documents suggested she was moviemakers' top choice for the job.

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