Fans of E.L. James' blockbuster “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy have yet to see a glimpse of the coming film, but, according to one new report, Universal Studios is already prepping its sequel.
According to claims published by the Tracking Board, Universal Pictures is already searching for a screenwriter to adapt the second novel in James’ trilogy, “Fifty Shades Darker,” a move the Hollywood insider site thinks is a sure sign the studio is moving forward with the franchise ahead of the February 2015 release of “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
“Universal is betting on the fact that their upcoming 'Fifty Shades of Grey' adaptation will make a lot of money. ... Now it looks like Universal wants to start fresh with the sequel and they don’t have anyone specific in mind. … every screenwriter’s dream,” reads the report. Tracking Board also claims “Fifty Shades of Grey” screenwriter Kelly Marcel, and “polishers” Patrick Marber and Mark Bomback, do not appear to have been invited back. “Get your resumes and writing samples ready, call your agents and managers, and get in line to be the writer on what is almost guaranteed to be a box office success.”
With the first film’s writers reportedly on the chopping block, the Tracking Board is also reporting that neither the film’s stars, nor its director, Sam Taylor-Johnson, have yet been invited back. Fortunately for James, her pals, producers Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti, are rumored to be making a reappearance on set for “Fifty Shades Darker.”
Why the rush? Even as fans still await a glimpse of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” film’s first trailer, the studio apparently believes the first installment will be a blockbuster. “Getting a head start is a smart move on Universal’s part, because the sooner they have a workable script, the sooner they can start production on the second installment of this cash-cow franchise,” reported the Tracking Board.
Brunetti, 41, last spoke out about the possibility of a second “Fifty Shades" film at the 2014 Academy Awards in March, revealing that a sequel would be likely if the first installment was a box office success. “We haven’t even started discussing it,” Brunetti told MTV News. “We just want to get this one wrapped, get it cut, and we’ll see the cuts and see how it goes once its released… We’ll see what happens next.”
“Fifty Shades Darker,” released in 2011, continues the love story of BDSM-practicing billionaire Christian Grey and his submissive girlfriend, Anastasia Steele.
“Fifty Shades of Grey” is rumored to be releasing its first trailer this fall. The film, starring Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele, premieres in U.S. theaters Feb. 13, 2015.