"Obviously, the film can't be as explicit as the book," producer Michael De Luca, recently named the new president of production for Columbia Pictures, said during an industry panel discussion at the Sundance Film Festival.
"The book is explicit by design because the author wanted to go inside the head of Anna — the female lead — and detail her experience. On the literary level, that was necessary. But in a film or any visual medium, a picture is worth a thousand words. To be erotic onscreen is going to have more power than to read the words on a page."
Still, De Luca vowed the film was "going to give [fans] what they expect, which is an intense and erotic love story."
Directed by Sam Taylor-Wood and currently being filmed in Vancouver, 50 Shades of Greystars Dakota Johnson as a young woman named Anastasia Steele who encounters the world of bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism (BDSM) when she becomes involved with a controlling billionaire named Christian Grey (played by Jamie Dornan).
Depending on the graphic nature of its content, the 50 Shades of Grey movie could face a NC-17 rating from the Motion Picture Association of America — a serious restriction that means no one under the age of 18 is permitted into U.S. theatres to watch it (even if there is a parent or guardian present).
The move is typically considered a major threat to a film's box-office potential since many theatre owners simply choose not to screen movies carrying the NC-17 rating.
In Canada, movies are rated by provincial agencies and different standards apply.
50 Shades of Grey is slated for release Feb. 13, 2015.