LOS ANGELES: The much-anticipated film adaptation of Fifty Shades Of Grey looks set to arrive on cinema screens sooner than you might think.

According to reports the drama – based on EL James’s world-conquering best-seller – will be released in the US on August 1 2014, although a release date for the UK has yet to be confirmed.

The movie will be released via Focus Films, the specialist arm of Universal Studios – with James named as one of the producers and British writer Kelly Marcel penning the screenplay.

News of the release date comes a week after Sam Taylor-Johnson was named as the film’s director.

James revealed the news on her Twitter page last Wednesday night, ending months of speculation over who might take the helm on the project.

The 45-year-old – best known for the 2009 John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy – was regarded by many as a surprise choice to direct, since she had not previously been linked to the project.

Meanwhile fans of the series will no doubt be optimistic that the announcement of a release date may soon be followed by news of who will play the book’s protagonists Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. The likes of Emma Watson, Mila Kunis, Shailene Woodley, Emmy Rossum and Kristen Stewart have all been linked with the role of virginal college graduate Anastasia – although Mad Men star Alexis Bledel has emerged as the new front-runner in recent days.–MN