Earlier this week, news broke that Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L. James was adding a fourth story to the saga of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. Grey would be the first book told entirely from Christian’s point of view.
Although the film rights to the new book have not been acquired, The Hollywood Reporter explains that Fifty Shades stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan are not contractually obligated to the spinoff. Reportedly the studio and the two stars had no idea there was going to be a fourth book.
Dakota and Johnson are set to star in the next two films — with Dornan reportedly being offered an extra $1.5 million to go full frontal — Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.
And with the success of the first film — over $500 million worldwide — one could only assume that the studio would move forward with any spinoff on the BDSM love story.
At this point the sequels have yet to start filming, with production being continually pushed back do to behind-the-scenes drama.
First, director Sam Taylor-Johnson announced she would not return for Darker, due to rumored on set strife with James. Rumors abounded that James wanted more control over the sequel, and Taylor-Johnson was not willing to give it.
Next, screenwriter Kelly Marcel announced that she would not be writing the next script in the trilogy. Marcel has since been replaced with James’ husband Niall Leonard. Although it may seem that having her husband write the script is a power play for James, Leonard is an established author and screenwriter. He has written for British TV shows Air Force One Is Down and Wire in the Blood, E! News reports.
It has also been rumored that E.L. herself plans to take the reigns and direct Darker herself. Nothing has yet to be announced and according to sources who spoke to The Hollywood Reporter, a new director should be announced in the next two months.
There are also some major casting decisions that need to be made. In the second book, we meet Elena Lincoln, a.k.a. Mrs. Robinson, the woman who introduced Christian Grey to the BDSM lifestyle. Charlize Theron is reportedly the A-list star wanted for the role as Christian’s former dominant.
Also introduced in the second book is Jack Hyde, Anastasia’s boss, and Christian’s former submissive Leila Williams. Batman V. Superman star Henry Cavill has been rumored for the role of Jack, while supermodel Cara Delevingne may have already been cast as Leila.
Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed will be released in February of 2017 and 2018, respectively.
[Photo Courtesy: Vittorio Zunino Celotto for Getty Images]