Fifty Shades Darker Needs New Director

Sam Taylor-Johnson has made it official – she will not be returning to direct the second instalment of the franchise adaptation of E. L. James’ “Fifty Shades” trilogy at Universal Pictures. In a statement to Deadline, Taylor-Johnson says:

“Directing Fifty Shades Of Grey has been an intense and incredible journey for which I am hugely grateful. I have Universal to thank for that. I forged close and lasting relationships with the cast, producers and crew and most especially, with Dakota and Jamie. While I will not be returning to direct the sequels, I wish nothing but success to whosoever takes on the exciting challenges of films two and three.”

Taylor-Johnson reportedly bristled over being creatively handcuffed due to author E.L. James involvement, which led to speculation long before the film came out that she wouldn’t return. Kelly Marcel adapted the script.

There is no official word on a replacement helmer for the next chapter of the erotic series, “Fifty Shades Darker,” though stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson will be back as billionaire Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele respectively.