After taking in a whopping $81.6 million last weekend, a sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey is certainly inevitable, with an unofficial announcement made last week at a fan screening just a few days before the adaptation hit theaters. Most times, after a huge opening weekend, a studio will officially announce a sequel on the following Monday, but that hasn't happened yet because, according to Variety, author E.L. James has been insisting that she write the screenplay adaptation, an idea which Universal is resisting.
Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson (Nowhere Boy) and screenwriter Kelly Marcel (Saving Mr. Banks) are not expected to return for the follow-up, Fifty Shades Darker. The sequel is about to, "undergo a dramatic creative reshuffling in the weeks to come," although the studio claims that no official decisions have been made at this time. Here's what a Universal spokesperson had to say in a statement.
"The studio had always intended to sit down with the author after the film opened and discuss next steps and that has not yet happened."
Production on Fifty Shades Darker likely won't begin until early 2016, but that may be pushed if E.L. James writes the adaptation, since she has never written a screenplay before and there may be extra time needed for revisions. This may mean that it may not meet the proposed Valentine's Day 2017 release, but that has yet to be confirmed. E.L. James' deal gave her much more creative control with the adaptation than other authors, with control over casting and other decisions. She was also credited as a producer on Fifty Shades of Grey. The author originally worked on the first draft of the script with Kelly Marcel, although they had a falling-out after the studio asked them to tone down the sexual content. Patrick Marber came on board to rewrite the script.
The studio is also having difficulty scheduling stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan for the sequel, since they have both become hot commodities in Hollywood. Do you think E.L. James should write the script for Fifty Shades Darker? Chime in with your thoughts below.