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Sam Taylor-Johnson for 50 Shades

Sam Taylor-Johnson has signed up to direct the movie version of Fifty Shades Of Grey.

The book's writer EL James told fans the news on Twitter.

The novel, the first of a trilogy of steamy tales dubbed ''mummy porn'', has become a literary phenomenon, selling more than 5.3 million copies to become the best-selling book of all time in the UK.

James wrote: "I'm delighted & thrilled to let you guys know that Sam Taylor-Johnson has agreed to direct the film of Fifty Shades Of Grey."

The film's makers confirmed the news. "Sam's unique ability to gracefully showcase complex relationships dealing with love, emotion and sexual chemistry make her the ideal director to bring Christian and Anastasia's relationship to life," producer Michael De Luca told Variety.

"EL James' characters and vivid storytelling require a director who is willing to take risks and push the envelope where needed and Sam is a natural fit."

Sam is one of the leading names in contemporary British art and won praise for her feature film debut Nowhere Boy in 2009, the story of the early life of John Lennon. It starred young actor Aaron Johnson, whom she married last year despite being 23 years his senior.

She is well known for her videos and photography, including a famous work in which she filmed David Beckham asleep. The artist - who lost out to Chris Ofili when she was shortlisted for the Turner in 1998 - also made Crying Men, a film in which a number of Hollywood stars are shown in tears.

Emma Watson recently rubbished rumours that she is set to star in the movie as virginal college student Anastasia Steele, who has a steamy love affair with billionaire Christian Grey.

A host of top actors have been mentioned as contenders for the role of Christian, including Ryan Gosling and Ian Somerhalder.

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