The series is almost named the same as the quirky and innovative fantasy novel by Jasper FfordeShades of Grey. To make the confusion perfect, some translations of this series kept the English title, but cut the "Fifty".
Also Between Shades of Grey, which has an upcoming film adaptation which will be renamed Ashes in the Snow, presumably to avert this trope and avoid confusion.
The film was not banned in China; the studio didn't even try to release it there, knowing that it wouldn't pass the censor board.
Because of SM's policy of not showing R-18 films in their theatres, the film was not shown in some cities in the Philippines. Though that didn't stop the movie from being a box office hit and illegally downloaded on the web.
Malaysia banned the movie for its "sadistic" and "unnatural" content. It's also been banned in Kenya, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates, Cambodia, Papua New Guinea and India, for unspecified reasons.
Billing Displacement: Rita Ora was heavily promoted as being part of the first film, but she's ultimately barely in it.
Played straight with "Love Me Like You Do". While the film was a huge hit, it noticeably died out very quickly. Meanwhile, Ellie Goulding had the biggest hit of her career with this song. Although the movie was why the song became a hit in the first place.
Zig-zagged as of May 2015, with "Earned It" by The Weeknd. In addition to not being nearly as big a hit as "Love Me Like You Do" (with its success mostly local to North America), it uses the title of the movie as a subtitle, so the song hasn't really broken away the same way that "Love Me Like You Do" has. While he was popular on the internet, "Earned It" gave him his first mainstream Top 40 hit as a solo artist, and it went Top 5. It was at first expected to be completely overshadowed by "Love Me Like You Do", so it was still a big accomplishment for him.note In fact, it also turned him from a lesser-known artist with a large cult following to a bonafide mainstream act overnight. His two follow-up songs, "Can't Feel My Face" and "The Hills," both debuted in the Top 25 and peaked at the top of the chart. Keep in mind that he hadn't had a Top 40 hit of his own until "Earned It". This was then cemented when it got an Academy Award nomination, setting the Internet on fire with the notion that we now have to say "Oscar nominee Fifty Shades of Grey."
B-Team Sequel: Sam Taylor-Johnson refused to consider returning for the sequel. She cited frequent clashes with E.L. James, who had received final approval on everything from the studio, as a source of much frustration. She was replaced by James Foley, who stated to have a "great relationship" with the author, and therefore returned for the second sequel.
California Doubling: The movie was almost entirely shot in Canada - even Washington State University Vancouvernote (yes, there's a place in Washington State called Vancouver) was played by the University of British Columbia.
E. L. James wielded a large amount of creative control over everything from casting to the wardrobe to the final script — unusual for any novelist, let alone one whose only published work was a single series of three books. This led to no end of disputes between her and director Sam Taylor-Johnson, including getting into an hour-long shouting match in front of cast and crew after Taylor-Johnson suggested a rewrite for the climax. While Taylor-Johnson wanted to make a more Pragmatic Adaptation, James was very protective of her book and vetoed even the most minor deviations from it, and since James was the one with final say on all creative decisions, Taylor-Johnson often found herself forced to go along. It got so bad, that by the end of the production of the first film, Taylor-Johnson was fed up with the constant feuding with James, and declined to return as director for the sequels.
Casting of the film's male lead, the billionaire BDSM aficionado Christian Grey, took a long time. Robert Pattinson, Ryan Gosling, and Garrett Hedlund all turned the part down. Charlie Hunnam of Sons of Anarchy originally signed on, but later backed out citing conflicts in his schedule, though others have said that it was because he didn't like the script and clashed with the creative team over it. Eventually, they settled on Jamie Dornan.
During filming in Vancouver, several residents were upset over the commotion caused by the production. One man rang a cowbell out his apartment window, ruining several shots until the producers came to an agreement with him by moving the rain machine to another location.
Bret Easton Ellis publicly expressed his desire to write the screenplay for the film.
At the end of the film, the director came up with the idea of Ana stopping Christian from following her into the elevator just by saying their safeword "Red." Sadly, E.L. James refused to let them do it.
Sam Taylor-Johnson wanted to make a Pragmatic Adaptation of the novel, addressing its criticisms and problematic elements, but clashed with E.L. James, who wanted the film to treat her novel like gospel. We can only wonder what kind of film Taylor-Johnson's untampered vision would've been.
The movie won five Golden Raspberry Awards, including "Worst Picture", together with Fantastic Four (2015), and also "Worst Actor" for Jamie Dornan, "Worst Actress" for Dakota Johnson, "Worst Screenplay" and "Worst Screen Combo" for Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson. It was nominated for "Worst Director" but lost to Josh Trank of Fantastic Four.