“Fifty Shades of Grey” is still in theaters, but there’s already some drama brewing over its sequel. Variety has exclusively reported that author E.L. James is demanding full control over writing the script for the “Fifty Shades” sequel, “Fifty Shades Darker.”
Universal Pictures, however, has been reluctant to hand over the role and are currently in discussions with James over the possible move.
Given the success of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which has so far grossed more than $300 million worldwide, the next logical step would be for the studio to announce the greenlight to its sequel, “Fifty Shades Darker.”
According to insiders, the delay in the production of “Fifty Shades Darker” is related to Universal execs and James still arguing over details. Unlike most successful franchises, which aim to retain the team behind the first film, it appears that “Fifty Shades” will undergo a dramatic creative reshuffling in the weeks to come. Sources close to the project don’t expect director Sam Taylor-Johnson or screenwriter Kelly Marcel to be back for the second installment, despite reps for the studio saying no official decisions have been made.
“The studio had always intended to sit down with the author after the film opened and discuss next steps and that has not yet happened,” said a Universal spokesman.
Because E.L. James has never written a film before, it could slow down production for “Fifty Shades Darker” as they’d need to set aside more time for revisions. However, some argue that heavy author involvement makes for a better finished project when adapting books to film, and obviously E.L. James is thinking the same thing.
Right now, with all the uncertainty surrounding the “Fifty Shades” sequel and without a script or start date, it’s quite unlikely that “Fifty Shades Darker” will be ready for next year’s Valentine’s Day.
What do you guys think about E.L. James and her strong involvement in the movie adaptations of her books? Aside from some creative involvement and answering any questions that arose, J.K. Rowling allowed the filmmakers to take charge when it came to adapting her books; Stephenie Meyer also stood aside and was hands-off during the film adaptations for the Twilight Saga.
You can read more about this and weigh in over at Variety.