With the “Fifty Shades of Grey” film adaptation pulling in box-office numbers more akin to a major Marvel movie blockbuster, and all done for about one-fifth of a Marvel film’s price tag, you would think that things would be full steam ahead on the adaptation of the second book in E.L. James’ erotic trilogy.
However, it seems production of “Fifty Shades Darker” appears to be heading for choppy waters as behind-the-scenes an alleged power struggle is going on. In the lead up to the release, it was widely reported ‘Grey’ director Sam Taylor-Johnson and James argued over various details during the film’s production.
Whilst “Saving Mr. Banks” scribe Kelly Marcel penned the current film, Variety reports that James has been insisting that she write the screenplay adaptation for the sequel – an idea Universal is resisting. The trade reports that the film will “undergo a dramatic creative reshuffling in the weeks to come”, and neither Marcel or Taylor-Johnson are expected to return.
James worked on the first draft of the script with Marcel, but they had a falling out after the studio asked them to tone down the sexual content. Patrick Marber then came on board to rewrite the script.
In a statement, a Universal spokesperson says no official decisions have been made at this time and that: “The studio had always intended to sit down with the author after the film opened and discuss next steps and that has not yet happened.”
“Fifty Shades Darker” isn’t expected to begin production until early 2016, despite a report to the contrary earlier this week that it will begin shooting in Vancouver in June. If James writes the adaptation and needs more time for revisions, then the film could be delayed and might miss its proposed Valentine’s Day 2017 release. There’s also the issue of scheduling stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan to return.