Director Sam Taylor-Johnson quits the “Fifty Shades” franchise.
Despite finding critical success and breaking box office records worldwide, she will not direct the sequel “Fifty Shades Darker.”
“Directing Fifty Shades of Grey has been an intense and incredible journey for which I am hugely grateful. I have Universal to thank for that. I forged close and lasting relationships with the cast, producers and crew and most especially, with Dakota [Johnson] and Jamie [Dornan]. While I will not be returning to direct the sequels, I wish nothing but success to whosoever takes on the exciting challenges of films two and three,” she said in a statement to Deadline.
There is one very important ‘Fifty Shades’ name missing from the list of people she is thanking for her time with the franchise — author E.L. James.
It was been widely reported the director and James did not get along while shooting the first film. In fact, she spoke openly about their strife to Vanity Fair.
“I kept trying to remind myself that they hired me for a reason. Some people said to me, ‘I’m surprised you haven’t quit,’ I was like, ‘Why would you think I’d quit?’ I never quit anything. Not without a fight.”
In that same piece, Taylor-Johnson said she and James “battled all the way through.”
“There were tough times and revelatory times,” she said. “There were sparring contests. It was definitely not an easy process, but that doesn’t mean to say that it didn’t come out the right way.”
Rumors started to swirl that Sam would not return to “Fifty Shades” when it was reported that E.L. James had decided to write the screenplay for the sequel herself, making her much more involved in the film.
Despite stepping down as director, Taylor-Johnson still seems to be close to the stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan.
Prior to making the announcement that she was quitting the franchise, she shared a picture showing happier times with Dornan.
After her announcement that she would not return, she also shared a photo which appears to be from the set. In the Instagram photo, Taylor-Johnson covers up in bed with her stars Dornan and Johnson.
No word yet on how Taylor-Johnson quitting will impact the Fifty Shades franchise or who will helm the sequel.