Call Your Book Club: '50 Shades of Grey' Movie Has a Release Date!

The popular series will hit theaters next August, but still needs to find its Anastasia and Christian!

You've read the book -- or at the very least, you've watched a bunch of inappropriate celebrities reading it. Now the long-awaited 50 Shades of Grey movie finally has a release date and a director! Pretty soon, it may even have an Anastasia Steel and a Christian Grey. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

The film version of the Twilight-inspired S&M fantasy will be directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, who made her feature film debut in 2009 with the John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy. She's also known for romancing the film's hunky star, Aaron Johnson, when she was 42 and he was 19. (They're now married with two children.) We have to say, we're very happy that a woman was chosen to helm this project -- which is based on a female author's work, and is all about sexual fantasy from a woman's perspective. We were terrified they were going to pick someone like Michael Bay. And judging from the one real fact we know about Taylor-Johnson's personal life, she's a woman who is comfortable with her sexuality!

As for that release date, we're looking at Aug. 1, 2014. Just in time to beat the heat... in one year.

The big question that still remains, of course, is the casting. For two years, every name in Hollywood has been batted around for either Christian, the charismatic billionaire with a kinky secret, or Anastasia, the young virgin who teaches him about true love. The rumor mill began rolling again this week, after 50 Shades author E.L. James showed up at a party thrown by Robert Pattinson. The actor is an obvious choice to play Christian, who is based on Pattinson's Twilight character Edward Cullen. Is he back in the running?

We imagine the 50 Shades producers would leap at the chance to lock R-Pattz into another franchise. But unless he's totally strapped for cash, we just can't see him doing it. It would basically mean playing Edward all over again, and judging from his attitude in interviews (and the subsequent roles he's taken), Pattinson has been happy to move on.

One guy who's definitely out of the running, though, is the director's husband (whom you'll be seeing in the Kick-Ass sequel this summer). According to the couple's representatives, Aaron will be staying home to take care of the kids while Sam is shooting the movie. Not something we can picture Christian Grey doing -- but definitely sexy.

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