'Fifty Shades Darker' Finally Begins Production: Will The 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Sequel Hit Its Release Date After Multiple Delays?

Despite all of the delays surrounding the production of Fifty Shades Darker, from finding a new director to multiple casting difficulties, it now seems as though the film has finally gotten back on schedule. However, will the highly anticipated sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey be finished in time for its scheduled release date?

E.L. James, the author of the erotic book series, recently posted several images to her Instagram account that revealed the show was officially in pre-production. In fact, one of the photos featured the nameplate of Michael De Luca, one of the producers for the film, and was tagged with "#working."

A second photo featured James alongside her team of writers and producers sitting around a table. Presumably, the picture was taken while the team was busy working on Fifty Shades Darker, though exactly what they were working on remains a mystery.

"Fun times... @foleyfilm @noghar @dana_brunetti @mdeluca13," James captioned the photo, which included De Luca, director James Foley, and writer Niall Leonard.

While the images seem to indicate that things are starting to get up and running for the film, the producers still have a lot of work to do before filming can commence. According to Fashion & Style, the biggest hurdle yet to be toppled by the filmmakers centers on casting.

In fact, the movie still has a number of pivotal roles to cast before it can start filming. Aside from Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, who have both agreed to reprise their roles as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, other characters that still need casting include Jack Hyde, Leila Williams, and Elena Lincoln.

Dakota Johnson will reprise her role as Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades Darker. [Image via Universal Pictures]
Dakota Johnson will reprise her role as Anastasia Steele in 'Fifty Shades Darker.' [Image via Universal Pictures]

Given the fact that these new characters will play an important part in the movie, several well-known Hollywood names have been thought to be considered for the roles. These names include the likes of Cara Delevingne, Ian Somerhalder, Charlize Theron, Theo James, Alexis Bledel, and Henry Cavill.

At the same time, producers have managed to cast a few roles for the film. These include Max Martini, who is set to play Taylor, and Rita Ora, who will be portraying Mia Grey. Additionally, Luke Grimes will play Elliot Grey in the movie, Eloise Mumford will star as Kate, and Victor Rasuk will be portraying Jose Rodriguez.

That being said, filmmakers have yet to hire an official casting director for the movie, so it is unlikely that any of the major roles will be filled anytime soon. Additionally, it isn't known if these actors are seriously being considered for the roles and if they even have a desire to be a part of the movie. Whether or not this adds more delays to the start of production is still to be seen.

Meanwhile, other delays that may prevent the film from moving forward revolve around Dornan's request for additional time off. Apparently, the actor has asked for some time away from the film in order to be with his wife, Amelia Warner, who is pregnant with their child.

Rumors claimed that Jamie Dornan was the reason for some of the delays in production for Fifty Shades Darker. [Image via Universal Pictures]
Rumors claimed that Jamie Dornan was the reason for some of the delays in production for 'Fifty Shades Darker.' [Image via Universal Pictures]

Taken all together, the casting issues and time off may play a more significant part in the delays as the scheduled time for production draws closer. Unless producers hire a casting director soon, they will surely have a difficult time in getting the film completed by its scheduled release date.

Fifty Shades Darker is scheduled to hit theaters on February 10, 2017. The third film in the franchise, Fifty Shades Freed, is expected to follow with a release a year later in February of 2018. Whether or not producers manage to hit these premiere dates will be made clearer in the coming months.

Tell us! Do you think Fifty Shades Darker will come out on time? Let us know in the comments below.

[Image via Universal Pictures]