It looks poised to be on of the biggest movies of the year, but future sequels to [Fifty Shades of Grey](movie:391697) could be in jeopardy before the film is even released.
Sources are reporting that the films director, Sam Taylor-Johnson, may be looking to abandon any further Fifty Shades films, despite being contracted to direct all three from the trilogy, due to the tension between her and overly controlling author E.L. James.
The director has made no secret of the fact that she had clashed with James through the making of the film, telling Porter Magazine:
We definitely fought, but they were creative fights, and we would resolve them. We would have proper on-set ‘barneys,’ and I’m not confrontational, but it was about finding a way between the two of us, satisfying her vision of what she’d written as well as my need to visualize this person onscreen, but, you know, we got there. I think both of us felt it was an incredibly painful process
When Taylor-Johnson was recently asked if she would direct any future 50 Shades films, she rather ominously told E! magazine “I’m signed on. Let’s see how this one goes first.”
These two comments coupled with reports from The Hollywood Reporter that there have been "no discussions" about Taylor-Johnson stepping back in as director for future 50 Shades films, paint a troublesome picture for where the franchise could head next.
However if Universal Pictures, the studio with the rights to the film, hope to have a successful three-part movie series on their hands, they made need to renegotiate their deal with the author of the series E.L. James. James, who is apparently almost impossible to work with, was given a significant amount of creative control when Universal bought the rights to book series and apparently took any opportunity to exercise that control. One source reported “She will not allow herself to be rewritten, even if it’s ‘and’ or ‘but,'" While other incidents required Universal Chairman, Donna Langley, to step in and force James to compromise.
Having seen the film, it has to be said that Sam Taylor-Johnson has done an amazing job making a fairly quality film out of a book series which has often drawn criticism for being poorly written. In saying that, there were points in this movie, particularly dialogue, that felt clumsy or poorly written. Though given the revelations about James not wanting to compromise on the script, perhaps it's clear that the film would have been any even tighter production without the authors interference.
Fifty Shades of Grey opens in cinemas this weekend and is expected to attract massive audiences looking to spice up their Valentines Day, but whether or not we can expect a Fifty Shades sequel, or at least one directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, in February 2016, remains to be seen.