“Fifty Shades” fans couldn’t be happier when director Sam Taylor-Johnson announced that the final two installments in E.L. James’ romance series, “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed,” would be adapted for the big screen. However, just two weeks after making that promise (and rumors of a potential 2016 release date) it appears the second film in the erotica story may be suffering at set back due to behind-the-scenes drama.
James, who also served as a producer on the “Fifty Shades of Grey” film, is at the epicenter of the “Fifty Shades Darker” production drama, Variety reports. Despite recent hearsay that the second film in the franchise is due to begin shooting in Vancouver in June, Variety claims that James, 51, is causing issues by “seeking more control of the sequel by writing the script herself.”
While other best-selling author have had success penning their novels for the big screen -- such as Golden Globe and BAFTA nominated “Gone Girl” writer Gillian Flynn -- Variety reports that Universal Pictures executives are “resistant to the idea” of James taking on the sequel and are now “arguing over details” regarding the “Darker” script. James’ rumored attempt to secure control over the “Fifty Shades” script comes several months after the Tracking Board reported that Universal was looking to “start fresh" with "Darker" and had no plans to invite screenwriter Kelly Marcel back for the second installment.
Despite Universal failing to release any details about the “Fifty Shades” franchise or greenlight future installments -- a spokesman only revealed that the studio has plans to “sit down” with James -- Variety reports that it may be “years” before “Darker” hits theaters if James takes over the script. While news of a potential March 2016 release date was shared with fans earlier this month, new speculation suggests that audiences may not get to see Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and Anastasia Steele’s (Dakota Johnson) love story continue to play out on screen anytime soon.
According to Taylor-Johnson, James was not been the easiest member of the “Fifty Shades” family to work with. In a recent interview with Porter Magazine, the filmmaker dished that at times she would but heads with the British native on set. “We definitely fought, but they were creative fights and we would resolve them,” she said. “It was difficult, I’m not going to lie.”
“Fifty Shades of Grey” premiered in U.S. theaters on Valentine’s Day weekend. According to BoxOfficeMojo's latest tallies, the movie has grossed over $410 million at the worldwide box.