The upcoming film adaptations of the sequels to E.L. James’ erotic best seller Fifty Shades of Grey are now under the control of a new director. The Wrap announced James Foley had been selected by Universal Pictures to take the helm.
Words: Tiasha Simon, Subeditor:Yasmin Harding
Foley, best known for directing Glengarry Glen Ross and Netflix’s House of Cards, will be directing Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed back-to-back next year. Jamie Dornan will be suiting up to return as the business mogul Christian Grey, alongside Dakota Johnson resuming her role as Christian’s conflicted submissive, Anastasia Steele.
Back in March, after much speculation, it was confirmed that Sam Taylor-Johnson had decided to leave the franchise. Rumours of feuds between the London-born director and the author circulated, saying that they’d clashed about the dialogue and plot. It went as far as E.L. James “threatening to boycott” the film if the dialogue was rewritten rather than just cut down.
James won the final say with the changes being discarded.
Despite the “creative fights”, she spoke highly of her time with the film in an exclusive statement to Deadline: “Directing Fifty Shades Of Grey has been an intense and incredible journey for which I am hugely grateful… While I will not be returning to direct the sequels, I wish nothing but success to whosoever takes on the exciting challenges of films two and three.”
Fifty Shades of Grey was praised for being directed by a woman – some stating that they could see where a woman’s touch had came into play. Therefore a change in the feel of film may occur with a new male director.
The second instalment is scheduled for release on 10 February 2017, and Fifty Shades Freed the following year on 9th February – both coinciding with Valentine’s Day.
The first film was released 13th February of this year and grossed over $560m worldwide.