OMG I AM SO JEALOUS OF ALL THE PEOPLE THAT GOT TO SEE THIS TEASER TRAILER AT CINEMACON! Okay, I need to settle down. So apparently Universal’s chairman, Donna Langley presented the crowd at Cinema Con with a teaser clip of Fifty Shades of Grey at the end of their presentation. Check out a brief description of what the teaser trailer revealed ….
The nearly two-minute teaser opens with a cityscape look at Seattle, on a day with some sunshine but mostly grey skies. A soft, slow piano solo plays in the background (which sounds like an airy and eerie cover of Beyoncé’s “Haunted”) as we begin with Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) recounting her first meeting with Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) to her roommate, Kate (Eloise Mumford).
“So, what was he like?” Kate asks Anastasia, which we hear in voiceover as the scene of Anastasia and Christian’s first meeting plays out.
“Mr. Grey will see you now,” says his assistant to the brunette as she walks into Christian’s very spacious, immaculate office. The initial exchanges are full of shy glances from Anastasia and fixed gazes from Christian.
“He was really smart, intense,” Anastasia says to Kate, as more of their meeting plays out on screen. He passes her a pencil with “Grey” printed on it and they touch hands briefly. “He was very courteous,” she continues, as we watch Christian help her into her jacket.
“Anastasia,” Christian says as she gets on the elevator.
“Christian,” she responds, and the elevator doors close.
Now the lyrics to the song playing in the background kick in, with a backbeat that fittingly speeds up the action and the courtship. There are passionate embraces and kisses, extended time spent together, touching. We see Anastasia falling head-over-heels in love and into Christian’s world and only realizing she might be in too deep when he slowly opens a door… into a room… (book readers will know what we mean).
“I don’t know if I can be with him the way he needs me to,” Anastasia says in voiceover as we catch a quick glimpse of her lying down, a look of surprise on her face.
The rest of the teaser is a slight back-and-forth between the romance and the potentially dangerous connection between the two lovers. You can feel the intensity building, enhanced by the very colorful landscape director Sam Taylor-Johnson has created. The footage feels lush, elegant, and clean, but with an element of restraint and danger.
And then there is the not-at-all-subtle smolder of Dornan as Christian Grey. He simmers onscreen. Johnson seems perfectly natural as the innocent ingenue about to embark on a road of discovery.
Their final exchange in the teaser is a solid one: “Why are you trying to change me?” Anastasia worriedly asks Christian.
“I’m not,” Christian says, with emotion. “It’s you that’s changing me.”
Based on the roughly five minutes of footage Universal unveiled, the movie seemed far more tame than the steamy, S&M-heavy book it’s based on. Though Anastasia was shown blindfolded, as well as being pushed up against a wall by Christian, the teaser featured very little sex.
The footage began with Anastasia with walking into Christian’s high-rise office, where she’s been sent to interview him for her college paper. She’s immediately smitten with him, afterward gushing to a friend about how “smart, intense and courteous” he is. Soon, Christian has asked Anastasia out, and they start trading earnest sentiments such as “your face gives me some clue as to what I might be thinking” and “I don’t want to see you get hurt.”
In James’ book, Christian is a dominant force — he’s the power player in the relationship. But the only sense viewers got of that dynamic in the footage was when he warned Anastasia he was comprised of more than just “hearts and flowers.”
“Nobody outside the studio has seen a frame of footage,” Langley said.
The clip showed Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan as Anastasia and Christian Grey. The scenes included the characters meeting in Grey’s office. “Mr. Grey will see you now,” says the receptionist. The trailer showed them meeting in coffee shops and the hardware store where Anastasia works, all familiar scenes in the book.
While based EL James‘ erotic novel, the film looks more romantic than sexual. There was a brief glimpse of Johnson wearing a black blindfold in a red room, but most of the focus was on the courting of the couple.
“Hearts and flowers — that’s not who I am,” says Dornan’s character at one point in the trailer, which also showed one brief glimpse of Christian pushing Anastasia up against a wall.
It’s Tuesday at the annual theater chain convention CinemaCon, and Universal Pictures concluded its lengthy slate presentation with the footage Fifty Shades fans have been waiting breathlessly to see since the studio bought the rights to the best-selling novels last year.
But rather then fill the five-minute teaser with the sex that made the books by British author E L James so popular, the studio went against expectations and highlighted the romance between the two leads: virginal college student Anastasia Steele (played by Dakota Johnson) and 28-year-old domineering billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan).
The clip showcased the burgeoning romance, filling the screen with some of the iconic moments fans of the book will remember, like the first introduction in his office: Anastasia nervous and earnest; Grey, handsome and aloof. Grey’s surprise appearance at the hardware store and his helicopter also make an appearance. Plus audiences were given a sense of the Grey psyche with Dornan uttering, “Hearts and flowers: That’s not who I am.”
But with the exception of a brief blindfold, a hand on a thigh and a glimpse of a riding crop, Mr. Grey’s penchant for domineering sex was kept to a minimum. (The footage did feature him opening the doors to the Red Room, but alas, there was no wide shot of his elicit den.) In fact, there was more sex featured in Universal’s footage of the Seth Rogen-Zac Efron comedy Neighbors than anything found in the Fifty Shades footage.
Rather, the emotional component to the book’s storyline was highlighted with quick appearances from Anastasia’s mom, played by Jennifer Ehle, enthusiastic that her daughter has met someone new; her roommate (Eloise Mumford) warning her not to get hurt and even the heroine protesting that Mr. Grey is trying to change her. He protests with an earnest, “It’s you who’s changing me.”
It’s clear that the studio is rolling this out as carefully — and meticulously — as possible. It’s just unclear whether playing up the romance in the early footage is the way to get theater owners interested in the property.
Cut like a trailer instead of a collection of various sequences, the Fifty Shades of Grey footage began with an aerial look at the city of Vancouver, Washington followed by a shot of Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) craning her neck up at a tall skyscraper where she is about to meet Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) for the first time. Meeting in his office, the two leads seem to share an immediate spark, and we hear a voice-over of Ana describing the man as smart and intense.
Ana is then shown talking to her mother, Carla (Jennifer Ehle), on the phone, and Carla is immediately aware that her daughter has found someone. From there we see a montage of scenes that include Ana bumping into Christian at a hardware store, a photo shoot, the couple taking a helicopter ride, and sharing a kiss on an elevator.
Things seem very light and romantic, but the tone starts to shift as Ana’s friend Kate (Eloise Mumford) issues a warning about Christian, and in voice-over we hear the romantic interest talking about how his “tastes are very singular.” Ana expresses concern that she can’t be with him the way he wants her to be, and we see a shot of Christian unlocking a door. The footage ends with some dialogue, Ana asking her beau why he is trying to change her, and he replies, “You are the one who is changing me.
If you’re looking for me to give you some intimate details about kinky sex and BDSM between the male and female leads shown in the Fifty Shades of Grey footage, then I’m afraid you’re going to be a little bit disappointed. While the movie promises to be filled with all kinds of taboo carnal relations, what was shown in the clips was very PG-rated (they didn’t even mention the word “sex.”) Of course, there was plenty of innuendo and suggestion of Christian Grey’s habits behind locked doors, but none of it was explicitly shown. The closest it came to showing anything even remotely R-rated was Ana tied to a bed with a blindfold on, but even that shot lasted only about half a second.