(CBS NEWS) Although the illusive Christian Grey (or anyone for that matter) has yet to be cast for the movie adaptation of "50 Shades of Grey," the film has a release date, which will be Friday, Aug. 1, 2014 for North America.
Focus Features is releasing the film domestically, while Universal Pictures will handle the international release, with dates still to be determined. Universal and Focus acquired the rights to the "Fifty Shades" trilogy in March 2012.
Sam Taylor-Johnson (who directed "Nowhere Boy" about John Lennon's childhood in Liverpool, England) is directing the film adaptation of E L James' steamy No. 1 bestselling book. James will produce the film alongside Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti, and Kelly Marcel is writing the screenplay.
In a recent statement, Taylor-Johnson said: "I'm so excited to be charged with the evolution of 'Fifty Shades of Grey' from page to screen. For the legions of fans, I want to say that I will honor the power of Erika's book and the characters of Christian and Anastasia. They are under my skin, too."
"Fifty Shades" and the trilogy has been translated in over 50 languages worldwide since its release and has sold more than 70 million copies worldwide in e-book and print, making it one of the fastest-selling book series ever.
While no official casting has been announced for the film, many actors have been speculated to play the mysterious and mischievous Christian Grey (though most are mere rumors created by fans who are wishing and hoping and dreaming). Among the top contenders being discussed on fan pages, polls and blogs are Ian Somerhalder, Matthew Bomer, Matt Davis, Robert Pattinson, Alex Pettyfer and Henry Cavill (and every other semi-handsome actor between the ages of 20 and 45).
Lesley Savage, CBS NEWS