Universal Pictures has released the first trailer for the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey sequel, Fifty Shades Darker. This is our first real look at the return of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele to their steamy love affair. If this first trailer is to be believed, things should definitely be heating up in more ways than one, with Fifty Shades Darker in theaters this winter.

The first footage for the movie was released on YouTube by Universal Pictures yesterday, with the full trailer debuting today as promised. Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan are both returning as Anastasia and Christian respectively to further the story that started with Fifty Shades of Grey last year. Academy Award winner Marcia Gay Harden, Jennifer Ehle, Luke Grimes, Rita Ora, Victor Rasuk, Eloise Mumford and Max Martini are all also returning from Fifty Shades of Grey. The sequel has also added some more talent in the form of Oscar-winner Kim Basinger, Hugh Dancy, Bella Heathcote and Eric Johnson.

This time around in Fifty Shades Darker, the pair are starting to build trust with one another and find some stability. That becomes complicated as Christian Grey is wrestling with his inner demons and Anastasia must confront some of the women who came before her. As the first poster and the tagline for the movie tease, we should be ready to "slip into something a little darker" this time around. But we should also be expecting a lot of steamy, sexy sequences, as we were given plenty of it in Fifty Shades of Grey. No doubt, as the footage teases, this second entry in the series should be upping the stakes quite a bit. Here is the official synopsis from Universal Pictures.

"Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson return as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades Darker, the second chapter based on the worldwide bestselling Fifty Shades phenomenon. Expanding upon events set in motion in 2015's blockbuster film that grossed more than $560 million globally, the new installment arrives for Valentine's Day and invites you to slip into something a shade darker. When a wounded Christian Grey tries to entice a cautious Ana Steele back into his life, she demands a new arrangement before she will give him another chance. As the two begin to build trust and find stability, shadowy figures from Christian's past start to circle the couple, determined to destroy their hopes for a future together."

Fifty Shades of Grey was adapted from the bestselling book by E. L. James and wound up being an equally massive success on the big screen. The movie grossed a very impressive $571 million worldwide on a relatively small $40 million production budget. It didn't seem to matter that critics didn't care for the movie, which currently sits at a 25 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Universal is hoping to repeat that success with Fifty Shades Darker, and they very well should be able to, given that they seem to have all of the pieces in place that made the first one so sizzling and successful.

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Sam Taylor-Johnson did not return to direct this installment. Instead, James Foley has come on board to direct both Fifty Shades Darker and the third installment, Fifty Shades Freed, which already has a February 9, 2018, release date. Fifty Shades Darker is set for release on February 10, 2017, just in time for Valentine's Day. Be sure to check out the first full trailer for Fifty Shades Darker for yourself below. We also have a new gallery of photos.

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Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott