‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Sequels to Shoot Back to Back, James Foley to Direct Both (Exclusive)

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson return as lovers Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele

“Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed,” the sequels to E L James’ worldwide bestseller “Fifty Shades of Grey,” will shoot back to-back next year with James Foley directing both, TheWrap has learned.

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson return as lovers Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, while Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti return to produce alongside James.

Universal Pictures will release the “Fifty Shades” sequels, both of which will be adapted by Niall Leonard, the author and screenwriter who’s intimately familiar with the characters, given that he’s married to James.

The “Fifty Shades” book series blossomed into a global phenomenon, and the first film in the franchise managed to heat up theaters in February, grossing more than $560 million worldwide.

“”Fifty Shades Darker is scheduled for release on Feb. 10, 2017 and “Fifty Shades Freed” will be released on Feb. 9, 2018. The release pattern effectively establishes the month of February as a new tentpole corridor for Universal, which has timed the series to the romantic Valentine’s Day holiday.

Both sequels are currently slated to open against animated movies from Warner Bros., which will surely appeal to a different demographic than the adult-friendly “Fifty Shades” series.

Foley directed “Glengarry Glen Ross” and the steamy Mark Wahlberg-Reese Witherspoon thriller “Fear” before going on to direct many episodes of Brunetti’s acclaimed Netflix series “House of Cards.” He’s represented by UTA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and the law firm of Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein.

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