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Fifty Shades of Grey film 'surprisingly tame' with more 'PG kissing' than sex

Critics at a Universal screening left thinking filmmakers have 'played it safe'

First-look footage of the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey movie has led critics to believe that filmmakers have “played it safe”.

Sam Taylor Johnson’s adaptation of EL James’ bestselling erotic novel stars Jamie Dornan as playboy billionaire Christian Grey and newcomer Dakota Johnson as Anastacia Steele, the college student infatuated by his charisma.

Their ensuing S&M relationship sparked a literary phenomenon when the first book was published three years ago but, at a Studio Universal screening in Las Vegas yesterday, reporters were left feeling disappointingly cool under the collar.

Despite Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley promising “the next iconic screen romance”, journalists from The Hollywood Reporter described teaser scenes as “more romantic than sexual”, with Variety hinting at little more than “a lot of PG kissing and a sneak peek into the red room”.

“There was a glimpse of a whip, a fleeting look at Johnson wearing a mask and a confession by Dornan as Grey that ‘my tastes are very singular’,” wrote The Wrap, who called the preview “surprisingly tame”.

“The rest of the footage primarily consisted of the two attractive actors making moon-eyes at each other, in between helicopter rides and job interviews,” it continued.

Critics were also shown footage from Fast and Furious 7, featuring the late Paul Walker, and a trailer for Angelina Jolie’s Louis Zamperini biopic Unbroken.

Production on Fifty Shades of Grey was delayed last October when former lead Charlie Hunnam quit the role of Grey, reportedly because of a scheduling clash.

The hotly-anticipated movie is now due to reach cinemas on Valentine’s Day 2015.