The New Year just got a whole lot kinkier. Polish the handcuffs and prepare the whips because the “Fifty Shades of Grey” sequels – “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed” – will begin filming back-to-back in 2016.
The Wrap broke the news on Thursday that Universal Pictures has secured a deal with James Foley to direct both movies. According to the site, filming will begin next year and reunite Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. This will be their first time working with Foley, as the first film was directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson. It was announced in March that Johnson would be leaving the book-based franchise, amid rumors that her departure was due to conflict on set with “Fifty Shades of Grey” writer E.L. James.
James confirmed the shooting news by retweeting The Wrap’s coverage.
— Jeff Sneider (@TheInSneider) November 12, 2015
News on “Fifty Shades Darker” has been scarce. James gave a brief update in late October when she shared with her Twitter followers that she was working with producers Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti. However, don’t expect casting news to be released anytime soon. Although there's much speculation on who will be playing Anastasia’s boss, Jack Hyde, Brunetti told E! in late September that they are “nowhere near casting.”
“We haven’t gotten into anything like that,” he explained, revealing that it’s not even on the casting director's plate yet.
Although the movies will be filmed back to back, their release schedule remains the same. “Fifty Shades Darker” will hit theaters on Feb. 10, 2017, while “Fifty Shades Freed” will come out the following year, on Feb. 9, 2018.