Deadline is reporting that Universal may have found a director for its Fifty Shades of Grey sequel, Fifty Shades Darker, in James Foley. Perhaps best known for his work on Netflix’s House of Cards as well as the 1992 film, Glengarry Glen Ross, the director is said to be on top of the studio’s list and negotiations are set to begin shortly. Furthermore, if all goes well, Universal will try to lock him down for the third film, Fifty Shades Freed.
Sam Taylor-Johnson was behind the camera for Fifty Shades of Grey, but refused to return after having a horrible experience on set with author E.L. James. In fact, Taylor-Johnson even went so far as to say that the whole thing made her never want to direct a movie again.
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As for Foley, he’s certainly an intriguing pick and definitely an unexpected one. He’s able to bring solid performances out of his actors, but his previous body of work doesn’t really make him seem like an ideal candidate for a film like Fifty Shades Darker. Also, after hearing how difficult E.L. James was to work with, we have to ask ourselves why any director would want to be put into that situation?
Nevertheless, it seems like the studio has found their man for the job and we’ll remain cautiously optimistic as to what Foley can bring to the series. The first film was pretty terrible, so we’re hopeful that the director can inject a bit more life into the sequel.
Fifty Shades Darker will hit theatres on February 10th, 2017 and once again star Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson.