Sam Taylor-Johnson will not return to direct 'Fifty Shades' sequel

MANILA, Philippines – Director Sam Taylor-Johnson announced that she will not be returning to direct Fifty Shades Darker, the sequel to erotic film Fifty Shades of Grey. 

In a statement to Us Weekly on Wednesday, March 25, she said:

“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 [Johnson] and Jamie [Dornan]. 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.”  

This announcement appears to be in line with the news of some conflict between Taylor-Johnson and Fifty Shades author E.L. James.  

"We'd often clash and have to find a way to work through that to get to some sort of resolution. She would be the first to say as well that it was not easy. It was not easy. But we got there. I think both of us felt it was an incredibly painful process," said Taylor-Johnson to The Hollywood Reporter.

Screenwriter Kelly Marcel will also not be returning for the sequel. 

According to another report by Variety, Universal is looking for another writer and director replacement, and no release date has been announced for Fifty Shades Darker yet. 

Fifty Shades of Grey tells the story of a young literature major Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) who gets into a sexual relationship with CEO Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). It has since found huge success in the box office, grossing over $500 million worldwide. – 

Fifty Shades of Grey cast stock photo from Shutterstock

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