While everyone is buzzing about Charlie Hunnam’s abrupt exit from the movie version of Fifty Shades of Grey, there’s another film studio battle going on, and this time it’s between Warner Bros. and CBS, which are both fighting to own the rights to Beautiful Disaster, pegged as the “Fifty Shades for the YA crowd.” The novel centers around good-girl college student Abby Abernathy and Travis Maddox, the tattooed, cage-fighting bad boy she meets. The sex scenes will of course be toned down for the younger audience, but that hasn’t seemed to deter readers; Beautiful‘s author Jamie McGuire sold 200,000 copies of her book through her web site alone.
With the studios tussling over movies of the more racy variety — Universal Pictures and Focus Features also fought over the rights to Fifty Shades — we’re beginning to wonder if edgy (and sometimes explicit) films will replace the traditional romantic comedies. Films like Sleepless in Seattle, Pretty Woman and When Harry Met Sally with their tales of sweet, happy-go-lucky love? They don’t generate as much buzz as a film revolving around S&M, and with theater viewership already in a slump, it seems like studios are willing to make the shift.
What do you think? Is the romantic comedy dead? Is it all about racy and edgy now?