If bestselling books turned into movies are hot, bestselling books about kinky sex turned into movies about kinky sex must be even hotter. 50 Shades of Grey is the "triple-X" trilogy originally self-published by E.L. James that's being devoured by women across the U.S. The New York Post's Dana Schuster recently covered the growing popularity of the series among Upper East Side moms, who say it has changed their lives; in many bookstores, it's sold out entirely, and aspiring customers are not happy about that. (You can get it for your e-reader, friends.)

In the three books in the series, readers get the story of 27-year-old billionaire and BDSM-aficionado Christian Grey, who seduces the innocent Anastasia Steele into becoming his submissive sex slave. During the course of their developing relationship, there's plenty of sex, and not of the vanilla sort. Despite what many are calling mediocre or worse writing, the book has been touted as a sex-revitalizer for couples, a reading-revitalizer for people who haven't read a book in years, and a bonding tool for women. And movie studios have clearly seen the potential of making a movie based on a book with a zealous built-in readership, a fact that has resulted in some dramatic bidding negotiations. Today, it's been made official: Universal Pictures and Focus Features have won the rights to make the movies. According to a statement from James Schamus, chief executive of Focus Features (via The New York Times): "At its core, this is a romance of the most emotionally resonant, but delicate, order – and we look forward to working with our colleagues at Universal to transform E L James’s vision into a great film." 

Delicate, indeed. These are some tricky issues the studios are facing. It's a movie about sex rather than one about violence (see The Hunger Games) and so the rating will certainly not be PG-13, nor will the studios attempt to appeal to a fanbase of young adults. But even for an adult audience, the making of the movie is sure to present some challenges: Going all-out for an NC-17 rating, for example, versus getting complaints about a dulled-down movie version of the book to suit an R rating, is just one. The possibility of being banned in certain towns and theaters is surely another. As Julie Bosman writes in The Times, "One thing seems certain: a film adaptation of 50 Shades would have to be toned down considerably in terms of sexual content, unless the producers are seeking an NC-17 rating. (Scenes throughout the book graphically describe the erotic interplay between Christian and Anastasia, who have entered into a dominant-submissive relationship.)"

How this will play out both in terms of ratings and the making of the film is bound to be interesting. And, bigger picture: If studios can get women to pay to see this sort of sexually explicit material on the big screen, might we sitting on the precipice of a whole new genre of theater-accessible "lady porn"? 

Of course, there's a long way to go until the movie, a reality surely not lost on Knopf Doubleday, which will be releasing new trade paperback editions of the series to bookstores in April. (Remember, by the time The Hunger Games came out, there were some 24 million copies of the book in circulation in the U.S. alone.) If book sales can drive movie success, and historical precedent says it can, 50 Shades may well be a comparable—though very different—blockbuster of its own.