‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Shakeup: Sam Taylor-Johnson, Kelly Marcel Not Returning for Sequel

Director and screenwriter will not join stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson for “Fifty Shades Darker”

Sam Taylor-Johnson will not direct “Fifty Shades of Grey” sequel “Fifty Shades Darker,” and screenwriter Kelly Marcel is not expected to return either.

The shakeups are happening despite the first film making over $500 million for Universal at the worldwide box office.

The steamy blockbuster features Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson as BDSM enthusiasts Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, respectively, and has broken a number of records since its impressive Valentine’s Day weekend debut, when it opened at No. 1 in 54 territories.

Both Dornan and Johnson are contractually obligated to reprise their roles for the sequels, including a third film based on the E.L. James novel, “Fifty Shades Freed.” Universal is now searching for a new writer and director, and there is no release date set for “Fifty Shades Darker.”

A $55 million international gross on the film’s first Saturday alone made it the highest-grossing Valentine’s Day release ever, as well as Universal’s highest-grossing day ever.

Taylor-Johnson also made box office history with the film, which had the largest opening weekend for a female director, an $85.2 million three-day haul. It’s Universal’s top R-rated opening as well.

Partners

Featured