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‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Author’s Husband to Write Sequel Adaptation

Niall Leonard to pen second installment of erotic drama franchise starring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson

Niall Leonard, husband of “Fifty Shades of Grey” author E.J. James, has been tapped to write the film adaptation of the sequel, “Fifty Shades Darker,” an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

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.

Leonard signed on for the sequel in the wake of a shakeup that left both the original film’s writer and director, Kelly Marcel and Sam Taylor-Johnson, out of future installments.

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

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

Leonard is an established U.K. television writer whose credits include “Hornblower” and “Wire in the Blood.”   His first novel, “Crusher,” published in 2012 and spawned two sequels, “Incinerator” and “Shredder.”

He is represented by Valerie Hoskins Associates.