Universal Pictures and Focus Features have acquired the rights to E.L. James' bestselling erotic novel, Fifty Shades of Gray.
In a joint announcement Monday, Universal and Focus called the word-of-mouth sensation a "special story."
First released by an Australian publisher, James' novel is an explicit tale about billionaire Christian Grey and college student Anastasia Steele.
Vintage Books, a paperback imprint of Random House Inc, recently became the U.S. distributor of "Fifty Shades" and its two follow-ups, "Fifty Shades Darker" and "Fifty Shades Freed."
James is a London based writer.