It may come as a disappointment, but the sequel to the record-grossing erotic film Fifty Shades of Grey likely won’t be hitting the big screen anytime soon.
The screenplay hasn’t been written yet and according to reports, author E.L. James wants to take full control over the Fifty Shades Darker script, penning it herself. In a rare occurrence, when Universal Pictures and Focus Features acquired the rights to the trilogy, E.L. was given power over the script, the casting and the director. The Fifty Shades of Grey script was co-written by E.L. with Kelly Marcel (the screenwriter chosen by director Sam Taylor-Johnson) before it was re-written by Patrick Marber — the screenwriter chosen by E.L. So far, Universal Pictures has been resistant to the idea of her being the sole writer of the screenplay.
“The studio had always intended to sit down with the author after the film opened and discuss next steps,” a Universal spokesperson said, “and that has not yet happened.”
Fifty Shades Darker is expected to undergo a major overhaul before the final details are tied up. While no definite decisions have been made, rumor has it that neither Sam nor Kelly will return for the sequel. Sam and E.L. clashed constantly during the production of Fifty Shades of Grey, right down to the final word used in the movie.
Fifty Shades Darker was originally planned for a Valentine’s Day 2016 release, but with the current delays, production likely won’t begin until the first quarter of 2016, pushing it to a late 2016 or 2017 theatrical release. ~Sandra D. Sukraj