Los Angeles: `Anna Karenina` helmer Joe Wright is reportedly a strong contender to direct the film adaptation of `Fifty Shades of Grey`.
The 40-year-old director is set to helm the big screen adaptation of EL James` erotic novel, which will be produced by Universal and Focus Features, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The two studios are reportedly looking for a director with `arthouse sensibilities` for the flick and believe Wright could be the perfect fit for the job, although no offer has been made yet.
It is thought the director`s long history with Focus Features, as well as his success working with young female protagonists - particularly long time collaborator Keira Knightley - could help him land the directorial role.
Wright has previously worked with Focus Features on `Anna Karenina`, `Atonement`, `Hanna` and `Pride and Prejudice`.
Other directors on the studios` short list include Gus Van Sant - who filmed a raunchy demo with `Magic Mike` star Alex Pettyfer as lead character Christian Grey in a bid to land the job - as well as `Monster` director Patty Jenkins and Bennett Miller.
`Fifty Shades of Grey` will be produced by Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti.
The best-selling book trilogy tells the story of a young university student, Anastasia Steele, who embarks on a steamy relationship with her bondage-loving boss, Christian Grey.