Sam Taylor-Johnson to direct film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey as rumours continue to build over who will play Anastasia and Christian Grey

Author E.L. James is 'delighted and thrilled' as Nowhere Boy filmmaker confirmed to helm the Hollywood adaptation

Sam Taylor-Johnson has confirmed she will direct the film version of the hit erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey after months of speculation about the project.

The Turner-nominated artist-turned-director came to prominence with her 2009 debut film Nowhere Boy about the early life of John Lennon. Taylor-Johnson, formerly known as Sam Taylor-Wood, later married its star Aaron Johnson (now Aaron Taylor-Johnson) who is 23 years her junior.

"I am excited to be charged with the evolution of Fifty Shades of Grey from page to screen," the filmmaker said.

"For the legions of fans, I want to say that I will honour the power of Erika's book and the characters of Christian and Anastasia. They are under my skin too."

Author EL James announced the news on Wednesday night via Twitter, posting: "I'm delighted & thrilled to let you guys know that Sam Taylor-Johnson has agreed to direct the film of Fifty Shades of Grey."

Taylor-Johnson confirmed her involvement in a statement. She will be joined on the project by Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca as producers.

Studios Focus and Universal paid $5 million to secure the film rights for the trilogy. The screenplay adaptation is by Kelly Marcel.

No actors have been confirmed as of yet, but a host of names have been linked. The include Vampire Diaries-star Ian Somerhalder, Thor hunk Chris Hemsworth and TV actor Nina Dobrev.

The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy were the UK's three best-selling book titles of 2012 having collectively sold 10,509,988 copies.

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