‘Fifty Shades Darker’ Officially Offered to ‘House of Cards’ Director James Foley
It’s been a couple of weeks since we heard about Universal’s short list of directors for Fifty Shades Darker, the second film in their Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. Today, it’s being reported that the studio has formally made an offer to their top pick, House of Cards and Glengarry Glen Ross director James Foley.
Oddly, there was only one woman in contention for the job following Sam Taylor-Johnson’s announcement that she would not return to helm the sequel — Tanya Wexler, who recently directed the period drama Hysteria. Also on Universal’s short list was Arlington Road director Mark Pellington, but as Variety reports, the studio has officially offered the job to Foley.
Foley is best known for directing dark dramas like Fear (in which Mark Wahlberg took Reese Witherspoon on the rollercoaster ride of her life) and After Dark, My Sweet, and more recently helmed episodes of Netflix’s House of Cards. Fifty Shades producer Dana Brunetti is also a producer on that series, which may explain why Foley was so heavily favored.
As was reported widely following the release of Fifty Shades of Grey, there were some issues on set between author and producer E.L. James and director Sam Taylor-Johnson and screenwriter Kelly Marcel. James’ husband and fellow author Niall Leonard is scripting the sequel, which is expected to feature Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson reprising their roles as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele from the first film.
Fifty Shades Darker is currently scheduled to hit theaters on February 14, 2017.