Is Beyoncé Partnering With 'Fifty Shades of Grey' a Good Idea?
Will Beyoncé be getting drunk in love with Christian Grey?
Fans of the singer had their hopes raised over the weekend when Queen Bey gave the Internet a proclamation from her castle, errr, rather, an Instagram post from her official account of the teaser to the teaser trailer for the film adaptation of "Fifty Shades of Grey." Over a couple of quick shots from the movie was a slowed-down, particularly sultry version of Beyoncé’s famous “Uh Oh, Uh Oh, Uh Oh, Oh No Nos” from what sounded like a new version of “Crazy in Love.”
HOLD UP, the Internet declared late Saturday night. Is official grown woman Beyoncé involved with the soundtrack for "Fifty Shades of Grey"? (Rumors first circulated when Beyoncé's song "Haunted" accompanied early film footage at a CinemaCon panel last March.)
It's easy to see why the film would want her and her freakum dress aboard; everything she touches with a perfectly manicured finger turns to gold. Is it possible that in addition to this tease the singer is contributing a full song to the soundtrack? Is she possibly curating the soundrack à la hubby Jay Z for "The Great Gatsby"? "Fifty Shades of Grey" is obviously a popular book series/phenomenon with an anticipated film. But the series could certainly stand to have a bit more star power behind it. it's still anyone's guess how the film will actually perform in theaters. Do millions of people even want to go watch what seems to be essentially porn in a theater full of their friends and strangers? Unknown. Would groups of women be more likely to check it out if they knew Christian Grey scenes came complete with new Beyoncé music? Undoubtedly.
But while filmmakers would likely write a very large check to get her affiliated with it, as a fan of hers, I have to say I'm a bit bummed that she seemed to agree to be involved. Yes, "Fifty Shades of Grey" fits in well with her current brand ("Drunk in Love," "Blow," "Partition," etc.), but on the flip side, lending "Crazy in Love" to the regularly mocked "Fifty Shades" cheapens the expertly controlled Beyoncé image a bit. "Fifty Shades of Grey" will be released right around Grammy time. Is this really the piece of work Beyoncé most wants on display with her name attached?
It's disappointing because Beyoncé holds such a visible, powerful spot in the cultural conversation. If she wants to get into film (and doesn't want to star in "Obsessed 2"), there are plenty of adult-oriented, prestigious pictures that would love to have her contribute music. By choosing the problematic "Fifty Shades," Beyoncé misses an opportunity to further some of the feminist conversations she began on "Beyoncé." Instead, she may get knocked down a peg or two, and the conversation buzzing around her won't be so much empowering as part of a late-night punchline.
Beyoncé reportedly made $115 million last year. Surely she could have afforded to say "oh no no" to the film's request.