Yesterday, Fifty Shades Of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson dropped the unfortunate bombshell that she was toying with the idea of ditching filmmaking. Why? Not because of the universal critical slating the film has received, but because of the on-set difficulties she faced with the book’s author, E.L. James. With the director’s involvement in the sequel, Fifty Shades Darker, wedged in industry limbo, talk has now turned to James’ role in the forthcoming follow-up.
Per Variety, the author – and I use that term loosely – is now “seeking more control over the sequel” and wishes to exact that by penning the script herself. Naturally, the studio has reservations over this because James has never written a screenplay before. (Arguably, she’s yet to write an actual novel either – but that’s just this writer’s opinion.)
For most authors, when a deal is struck with a studio to adapt their work, it usually comes with a set of terms that benefit both parties. The agreement James made with Universal – which, like every studio, was desperate to bag the rights – practically guarantees her approval over many key decisions. It’s fair enough for an author to harbor warm, snuggly feelings towards their creations, but considering her two main characters both possess the charisma of a doormat, shouldn’t she just let the film professionals work their magic?
As the studio were hoping to roll out the sequel in time for Valentine’s Day 2016, a decision will likely be made very shortly regarding the screenplay. It’s expected that original screenwriter Kelly Marcel won’t be back, but – along with the director’s status – that’s yet to be confirmed. If James can hammer out a script in time, then we could be poised for another dose of Christian and Ana’s antics in less than 365 days.
Tell us, what do you think of James’ tackling the Fifty Shades Of Grey sequel script? Is it a good idea? Or does the series need fresh meat? Sound off, below!