Although it appears filmmakers are finally ready to move forward with the production of Fifty Shades Darker, more delays may be ahead for the hit franchise. With the movie set to be released in little over a year, budgeting concerns are the latest reported issues that might set back production once again.
According to Movie News Guide, Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson were only paid $250,000 for their roles as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey. With the first film grossing over $550 million in worldwide sales, the two stars are negotiating for a much larger payout that better corresponds with how much the movie is projected to make.
Apparently, Johnson and Dornan's request for a 7-figure deal is something producers are having a hard time dealing with. In particular, as Youth Health Magazine has noted, producer Dana Brunetti is having a difficult time with the salary increase, despite the fact that the sequel is likely to gross just as much as the first.
Meanwhile, although further delays may be forthcoming, at least the franchise has managed to secure a new director in James Foley. In regard to working with the House of Cards director, Johnson recently told Empire she is thrilled with the new direction Foley is getting ready to take the series.
"It's quite exciting," she stated. "There was a moment of being afraid, because I didn't know what it was going to be like. I had an experience with Sam [Taylor-Johnson] and then that all went away. Now I'm excited. I think James is a talented filmmaker. How often do you get to reconvene with the same people and have a different spin?"
Although Fifty Shades Darker finally has a director, there are still a number of new characters that have yet to be cast. Based on the books by E.L. James, the sequel is set to feature two characters who will likely play a large role in the overall plot. These characters include Jack Hyde, Anastasia's new employer who comes into conflict with Christian, and Mrs. Robinson, Christian's former dominant who taught him everything he knows about the world of BDSM.
With the casting for the new characters still up in the air, it isn't clear if Fifty Shades Darker will actually begin production on time.
While we wait to learn more about the upcoming film, Fifty Shades Darker is scheduled to premiere in theaters on February 10, 2017.
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