Well hello there, Mr. Grey.
Christian Grey, that is, known to millions of book readers as the love interest du jour of E.L. James’s hit “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which Universal Pictures is bringing to the big screen next Valentine’s Day. As part of their CinemaCon panel Tuesday, the studio served up a veritable buffet of trailer and teaser goodness, including the first look at footage from “Grey.”
The nearly two-minute teaser opens with a cityscape look at Seattle, on a day with some sunshine but mostly grey skies. A soft, slow piano solo plays in the background (which sounds like an airy and eerie cover of Beyoncé’s “Haunted”) as we begin with Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) recounting her first meeting with Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) to her roommate, Kate (Eloise Mumford).
“So, what was he like?” Kate asks Anastasia, which we hear in voiceover as the scene of Anastasia and Christian’s first meeting plays out.
“Mr. Grey will see you now,” says his assistant to the brunette as she walks into Christian’s very spacious, immaculate office. The initial exchanges are full of shy glances from Anastasia and fixed gazes from Christian.
“He was really smart, intense,” Anastasia says to Kate, as more of their meeting plays out on screen. He passes her a pencil with “Grey” printed on it and they touch hands briefly. “He was very courteous,” she continues, as we watch Christian help her into her jacket.
“Anastasia,” Christian says as she gets on the elevator.
“Christian,” she responds, and the elevator doors close.
Now the lyrics to the song playing in the background kick in, with a backbeat that fittingly speeds up the action and the courtship. There are passionate embraces and kisses, extended time spent together, touching. We see Anastasia falling head-over-heels in love and into Christian’s world and only realizing she might be in too deep when he slowly opens a door… into a room… (book readers will know what we mean).
“I don’t know if I can be with him the way he needs me to,” Anastasia says in voiceover as we catch a quick glimpse of her lying down, a look of surprise on her face.
The rest of the teaser is a slight back-and-forth between the romance and the potentially dangerous connection between the two lovers. You can feel the intensity building, enhanced by the very colorful landscape director Sam Taylor-Johnson has created. The footage feels lush, elegant, and clean, but with an element of restraint and danger.
And then there is the not-at-all-subtle smolder of Dornan as Christian Grey. He simmers onscreen. Johnson seems perfectly natural as the innocent ingenue about to embark on a road of discovery.
Their final exchange in the teaser is a solid one: “Why are you trying to change me?” Anastasia worriedly asks Christian.
“I’m not,” Christian says, with emotion. “It’s you that’s changing me.”
“Fifty Shades of Grey” opens Feb. 13, 2015.