It’s not just audiences and the general public who have had enough of Fifty Shades Of Grey. Now the Fifty Shades director Sam Taylor-Johnson could be taking off too.
The Sun newspaper reported furious bust-ups between Taylor-Johnson and the author of the hit Fifty Shades series of books E.L. James. These have taken their toll, and the two sequels to the recently released movie may have to be made with a different director.
Although Taylor-Johnson had previously confirmed that she would be working on the Fifty Shades sequels, this now seems to have been thrown into disarray.
The Daily Mail reported this from a senior film insider.
“Sam won’t be back for the Fifty Shades sequels. She wants out and Universal knows that’s the right decision. Her relationship with Erika has become absolutely toxic – they despise each other and blame each other for the problems with the film.”
If you thought the Fifty Shades Of Grey film was, after all that hype, actually a little tame, then you’re not alone. This point was at the ailing heart of rows between Taylor-Johnson and E.L. James. The author wanted the film to be as racy and explicit as the book. It seems Taylor-Johnson didn’t, and she won.
Such acrimony isn’t always the case when books are adapted and altered for the screen, as shown by JK Rowling’s acceptance of changes to her story The Casual Vacancy.
Fifty Shades Of Grey is clearly a very different ball game – about which it’s almost impossible to write without making inadvertently smutty puns. And Sam Taylor-Johnson and E.L. James are probably very different characters.
E.L. James signed a £3 million deal with Universal and Focus Films giving them the rights to and creative control of her trio of Fifty Shades books.
Taylor-Johnson has openly admitted they would “often clash” while making the film and revealed she was banned from using a jellyfish in a sex scene, while the author also admitted the pair “butted heads.”
Unlike the director, the two main stars of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie are not free to leave. Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson – who play Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele – signed contracts to keep them in the next two films, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.
It remains to be seen whether or not the atmosphere on set will be any calmer.
Additional Hollywood sources have said the director and author even disputed the final word in the film, with Taylor-Johnson wanting “red,” a “safe word” used in the bedroom by the protagonists, and James insisting on “stop.”
One insider said commented that it was “the most petty and ridiculous argument in the world.”
Despite all this, Fifty Shades Of Grey has been a huge success, dominating ticket sales at UK cinemas over Valentine’s weekend and raking in more ticket sales than all the other top 10 films combined.
[Image – Euan Cherry]