Less than two weeks ago it was announced that James Foley was being targeted by Universal to steer the second instalment of its Twilight fan fiction franchise. As shocking as that rumored tidbit was, today’s news is even more jaw-dropping, as Variety reports that Foley has been “officially offered the job” to direct Fifty Shades Darker.
What strikes as odd is the masterful roster of work Foley has accumulated over the years: The chatterbox character piece Glengarry Glen Ross and Netflix’s powerhouse politico hit House of Cards to name but two of his recent successes. Earlier in his career he made a name cultivating character studies that spoke to a different clientele than the Fifty Shades demographic, with the likes of underrated ’80s classics After Dark, My Sweet and At Close Range.
MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB
Nevertheless, Universal’s sights are on Foley for one reason or another with “negotiations expected to start shortly.” He’ll replace Sam Taylor-Johnson who directed the first instalment, of which she later confessed was a horrific experience that cast doubt on her entire future as a filmmaker. Naturally, she declined the offer for another stint in the director’s chair, along with screenwiter Kelly Marcel, who says she won’t even watch the movie in the aftermath of the whole debacle. Author E.L. James’ husband Niall Leonard was drafted in to pen the script in Martel’s absence.
Happy to return – on account of their significant pay bumps – are Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, who reprise their roles as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele for Fifty Shades Darker. What Foley plans to do with what can only be described as puddle-shallow characterizations is perhaps the only interesting aspect of the entire sequel. Really, did we need to know anything else about this boring pair?
However it all shakes out, Universal is ploughing ahead with production scheduled to commence in early 2016, ahead of its worldwide release on February 14, 2017.