The New Faces In ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ And Other Things We Know So Far

Anticipation is building up for Fifty Shades Darker especially after its predecessor was a blockbuster success despite its budget of $40 million. Lionsgate did not only give green light to the second book of EL James, but also to the final installment, Fifty Shades Freed. The cast and crew members even filmed the two movies back-to-back. With two months before the release of Fifty Shades Darker, here are some things about the flick.

It’s time to meet new faces

Apart from Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, cast members who will return include Marcia Gay Harden (Mrs. Grey), Rita Ora (Mia), Luke Grimes (Elliott), and Max Martini (Christian’s bodyguard Taylor). Ana’s friends Victor and Kate, played by Victor Razuk and Eloise Mumford, have reprised their roles too.

As for new faces, fans will see Hugh Dancy (Christian’s personal psychiatrist Dr. Flynn) and Eric Johnson who will make life tough for Ana as her new boss, Jack. Christian and Ana’s relationship will be further put to test as Mr. Grey’s former flames will appear in Fifty Shades Darker. Kim Basinger will give life to Elena’s role while Bella Heathcote will play the role of Leila.

Fifty Shades Leila and Elena
Christian's former flames: Bella Heathcote as Leila and Kim Basinger as Elena [Images by Matt Winkelmeyer and Larry Busacca/Getty Images]

New director and scriptwriter are on board

Sam Taylor-Johnson who lent her skills to Fifty Shades of Grey did not return for the sequel after reports of creative disagreements with James. Last year, the Fifty Shades of Grey lead actress talked to Empire about her thoughts on losing their original director.

“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?”

James Foley, who directed Glengarry Glen Ross as well as House of Cards, stepped in to replace Taylor-Johnson. Apart from the director, scriptwriter Kelly Marcel likewise passed the baton to the author’s husband, Niall Leonard.

Filming remained in Vancouver

The production did not relocate as most scenes in the franchise’s remaining two films were still shot in Vancouver. However, in February, the producers confirmed that they would likewise shoot scenes in Paris. In the novels, Christian and Ana go on an international trip for their honeymoon.

Fifty Shades Darker, MPAA rating
'Fifty Shades Darker' avoids an NC-17 MPAA rating. Image by Universal Pictures.

The trailer features a “grown-up” Anastasia

When Fifty Shades of Grey ended, Christian and Ana parted ways after the latter’s unwillingness to commit to her beau’s lifestyle. The second trailer was unveiled just in time for Christmas and apart from the steamy scenes, the trailer featured a more mature version of Ana. While Christian is still pursuing her, the new characters will prove that reuniting is easier said than done.

Ana’s new boss, Jack, makes Christian jealous with his interest in Ana. It’s time for Ana as well to face the former flames of her billionaire boyfriend. There’s Elena who’s now Christian’s business partner which does not sit well with Ana. After all, it isn’t easy to forget that Elena took advantage of the then 15-year-old Christian. Readers also know too well that it’s her who introduced Christian to the lifestyle which he ended up fancying. Leila enters the picture too as her mental situation calls for Christian’s care.

Johnson and Dornan are done with Fifty Shades

Even if the Fifty Shades of Grey films made Johnson and Dornan household names, the two are not eager to do further projects related to the franchise. As reported by the Independent, the 34-year-old actor already wants to explore other projects.

“We have done two movies back to back now, and I’m actually finished with it. I’ve done Fifty Shades forever. I move on very fast in my mind. As much as from the outside people think you are synonymous with one character, but I’m very much like, ‘Right, that’s done’ and move on to the next project and worry about that character.”

The 27-year-old actress, on the other hand, said that she’s “over” with the franchise because filming the steamy scenes are “not comfortable” and “pretty tedious.”

Fifty Shades Darker is set to come out on Feb. 10, 2017.

[Featured Image by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]