‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Sequel Will Be Written by Author E.L. James’ Husband
Oh boy. Recently, we learned that Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson and writer Kelly Marcel would not be returning for the sequel, as Universal has given more control to E.L. James, the author of the Fifty Shades trilogy. And with that power, James has decided to hire her husband, fellow author Niall Leonard, who also has some screenwriting credits under his belt.
THR reports that Leonard has been tapped by his wife (no pun intended) to script the Fifty Shades of Grey sequel, Fifty Shades Darker. Leonard also reportedly worked on the script for the first film, although he was not one of the credited writers. In addition to writing the Crusher book series, Leonard has also written for the British series Monarch of the Glen and Air Force One Is Down.
The recent revelations from Universal have been a bit troubling, given that Marcel and Taylor-Johnson elevated James’ source material to deliver a movie that was, well, pretty okay. Not only did they diminish some of the questionable, somewhat sexist material from the book, but they actually managed to take the humorless character of Anastasia — with the help of Dakota Johnson — and make her quick-witted and delightful.
Hopefully Leonard was also responsible for some of the film’s improvements over the source material, but it’s impossible to tell just what his contributions to the script were. James angled pretty hard for more power over the coming sequels, following reports of conflicts between the author and Taylor-Johnson on set. It’s not quite surprising that James has decided to hire her husband to work on the sequel, but it’s a little laughable all the same.
Fifty Shades Darker is reportedly set for a 2017 release date, with stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan expected to return if and when they successfully negotiate their pay raises.