Mark Wahlberg has revealed that his production company were close to landing the rights to adapt the erotic novel 'Fifty Shades of Grey', before the book became the bestselling paperback of all time. Competition became rife for the rights to shoot the movie, with Universal Pictures and Focus Features eventually winning out on March 26, 2012.

British writer E.L James had reportedly requested to have some form of creative input in the movie, which may have been a deal breaker for Wahlberg's production company. Speaking to Access Hollywood, Wahlberg explained how he made contact with the author before the book became an international sensation, saying, "We were very close to getting the rights, we were talking with the writer before she had an agent.I just knew that it was going to be a phenomenon, whether I thought it was good, bad or indifferent. It was definitely going to be one of those things that would create a huge buzz". Starting out life as 'Twilight' fan fiction, the story of a college graduate and her submissive relationship with a young business magnate eventually became a novel, spawning two further books. Competition is now hotting up for roles in the movie adaptation, which is likely to be one of the biggest releases in years once it hits cinemas. Kristen Stewart is being tipped to land the female lead, with Ian Somerhalder, Robert Pattinson and Ryan Gosling all mentioned for the male lead.

Though he didn't get the rights, could Wahlberg envisage himself starring in the movie? Apparently, not. With the actor joking, "I don't think I would consider playing the part, I don't think my wife would like that".