Universal Pictures is still on the lookout for a director to helm Fifty Shades Darker, the sequel to Fifty Shades Of Grey. Given the reports of conflict on set between Sam Taylor-Johnson and Fifty Shades Trilogy author EL James, a replacement director had to be found. Now it looks like Universal is close. According to a number of reports the studio is close to closing a deal with James Foley to helm the sequel, but another report says that he is only on a short list of directors the studio is considering.
More on the story below.
Deadline says that Universal has settled on Foley has their choice to direct Fifty Shades Darker written for the screen by Niall Leonard, the novelist and screenwriter who is the husband of the trilogy’s author EL James. We’ve heard many rumors of how controlling James could be while on set, and recently learned about how much control she wants to have over the impending sequels. It’s not clear how much this will affect the overall creative process, and it is unknown if the studio will offer the chosen director to film Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed back-to-back.
While Deadline says one thing, THR says another. According to them, Foley is the frontrunner on a shortlist, which include names like Mark Pellington and Tanya Wexler.
In addition for directing Glengarry Glen Ross, Foley is best known for directing a number of episodes of Netflix’s House of Cards, as well as one episode of M. Night Shyamalan’s Wayward Pines. Pellington is best known for directing Arlington Road, as well as the pilot episode for NBC’s upcoming drama Blindspot. As for Wexler, she is the only female director on the shortlist. Her previous credits include Hysteria, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Hugh Dancy.
THR adds that they will start the process of choosing a director next week. Based on what’s being reported now, it looks like Foley will be announced as the new director of Fifty Shades Darker.
The franchise was not without its share of problems. Taylor-Johnson often clashed with James over creative control, with James often being very opinionated and very demanding. Kelly Marcel won’t be returning to write the sequel as well.
Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson are the the only two confirmed to return. Dornan plays the sophisticated and suave Christian Grey with a kink for bondage sex, while Johnson plays a young sexually naive girl whose eyes are opened when Christian introduces her to the world of BDSM. At the end of the first film, we see the two end their relationship, but in the sequel, Ana is forced back into Christian’s life as he constantly interferes with her career.
Universal has scheduled Fifty Shades Darker for a February 10th, 2017 release.
[Source: Deadline | THR]