Sam Taylor-Wood will direct 'Fifty Shades of Grey'.

The 'Nowhere Boy' director has confirmed she has signed on to helm the big screen adaptation of the first book in E.L. James' erotic trilogy, which will be produced by Universal and Focus Features.

In a statement, the British filmmaker, 46, said: ''I am excited to be charged with the evolution of 'Fifty Shades of Grey' from page to screen.

''For the legions of fans, I want to say that I will honour the power of Erika's book and the characters of Christian and Anastasia. They are under my skin too.''

Sam, who is married to 23-year-old 'Godzilla' star Aaron Taylor-Johnson, reportedly beat off stiff competition to direct the project from a number of high profile directors, including 'Anna Karenina' director Joe Wright, 'Milk' director Gus Van Sant and Angelina Jolie.

Producer Michael De Luca said: ''Sam's unique ability to gracefully showcase complex relationships dealing with love, emotion and sexual chemistry make her the ideal director to bring Christian and Anastasia's relationship to life. E.L. James' characters and vivid storytelling require a director who is willing to take risks and push the envelope where needed and Sam is a natural fit.''

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.

'True Blood' star Alexander Skarsgard and 'Vampire Diaries' actor Ian Somerhalder are both rumoured to be in the running to play Christian, while Ian's co-star and ex-girlfriend star Nina Dobrev and 'Pretty Little Liars' actress Lucy Hale have also been linked to the film.