Regardless of whether you are a fan of the Fifty Shades Of Grey trilogy or not, the success of the BDSM series is undeniable. Not only have the books sold millions of copies, but the first movie, which was released earlier this year, has already passed the $500 million dollar mark at the box office according to Deadline. But it seems the second installment, Fifty Shades Darker, is set to be “more of a thriller” than Fifty Shades of Grey according to Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley. Donna had plenty to say about the Fifty Shades franchise – and franchises in general – at the recent keynote Q&A at The Hollywood Reporter’s ninth annual Power Lawyers breakfast.
What she means exactly by “thriller” though is anyone’s guess. Although Fifty Shades fans who have read the second book may have a fair idea of how the movie could turn into a thriller more than erotica. In the book, not only is Anastasia Steele harassed by her new boss, but one of Christian Grey’s ex-submissives is stalking her. If both of these events occur in the movie it could potentially be a very tense movie and definitely put it into the “thriller” category.
Fifty Shades Darker will see the departure of director Sam Taylor-Johnson, amid rumors of fights on set between her and Fifty Shades creator, E.L. James. Screenwriter Kelly Marcel will also not be returning for the sequel. So far a replacement director has not been named but E.L. James’ husband, Niall Leonard, will join the crew as a script writer.
“Niall is an outstanding writer in his own right, with multiple established credits, and we are lucky to have him join Team Fifty.”
Producer Michael De Luca recently told The Hollywood Reporter. It turns out, according to Donna Langley, that Niall Leonard is not new to writing for the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise with him having written an uncredited draft in the first movie.
Donna has also assured fans that, even though there were differences of opinions between the Fifty Shades of Grey director and E.L. James, the movie ultimately turned out just the way they wanted it to.
“For the record, the movie we ended up making is exactly the movie I wanted to make and that the studio wanted to make and that our director wanted to make.”
Fifty Shades Darker is slated for release on February 10, 2017 with Fifty Shades Freed scheduled for February 2018.
[Image credit: Universal Pictures]