It seems the Fifty Shades film franchise has been in trouble from the very beginning with adaptations of the E.L. James novels falling short of fan expectations. As Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson now shares, part of the problem was James’ constant interference. The conflict caused the director to abandon the project before production began on Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.
Sam Taylor-Johnson Blames E.L. James For A Disappointing Fifty Shades Of Grey Adaptation
Entertainment Weekly reports that Taylor-Johnson and the Fifty Shades author were embattled foes on the set of Fifty Shades of Grey, though that may not be news to fans of the series. Word of their rivalry leaked onto the internet even before the first film hit theaters. Nevertheless, Sam is now opening up with his version of events, revealing that there’s another side to this now famous conflict.
The Fifty Shades of Grey director says E.L. James has an entirely different view of the film adaptation and seemed insistent that her vision for the films be followed. Ms. Taylor-Johnson says they fought over every scene, slowing production of the film to a tortoise pace.
“Every scene was fought over. It was tough. It was like wading uphill through sticky tar,” says the Fifty Shades of Grey director. “Her thing was, ‘This is what the fans expect.’ I’d be like, ‘Well, let’s try and hit those marks but create a new universe at the same time.'”
Sam says she often tried to find some compromise with E.L. James but adds that their opposing views made it difficult to find much common ground at all. The behind-the-scenes fighting created unnecessary delays on the Fifty Shades of Grey set, endangering the entire franchise and forcing Taylor-Johnson to make an unfortunate break from the franchise.
Sam Taylor-Johnson Parted Ways From The Fifty Shades Franchise And From E.L. James
Initially, the plan was for Ms. Taylor-Johnson to continue on with Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, but as Screen Rant reports, leaked gossip about her feud with James made that impossible. While Fifty Shades of Grey did perform well at the box offices, the studio was taken aback by the constant bickering and delays created by the opposing visions for the franchise.
Armed with hindsight, Sam says she’d be crazy to take on the E.L. James adaptation, knowing what the experience would be on the set. She adds that it was too much of a struggle just to do her job her own way.
On the topic of E.L. James, Sam says she was personally frustrated by her inability to connect with the Fifty Shades of Grey author.
“I like everyone — and I get really confused when they don’t like me,” said Sam Taylor-Johnson. “I was so confused by E.L. James. I don’t understand when I can’t navigate a person when there’s no synergy.”
Fifty Shades Freed is set to hit theaters on February 8, 2018.
[Featured Image by Ian Gavan/Getty Images]