I can imagine EL James and the denizens of Fifty Shades of Grey are in a strange position after the contentious movie adaptation raked in over 160 million at the box office. Sure, the film sold amazingly, but audiences and critics alike were left expecting slightly more from something based on a book that had sparked such commotion and notoriety. A general "that was it?" reaction dogged the release of Fifty Shades of Grey. The filmmakers are likely learning the pitfalls of playing it safe, and could change their game in the production of Fifty Shades Darker. I've already outlined some issues with the production of these movies here, but what are some of the other challenges facing these adaptations?
We may be about to see the Fifty Shades brand adopt a "go big or go home" attitude upon the release of Fifty Shades Darker. The only problem occurring here is that the second book in EL James' trilogy actually levels the playing field, and actually takes a measured approach to the story, at least with regards to the sex depicted. So let's take a look at the dilemma facing Fifty Shades Darker!
How does Fifty Shades Darker end?
While the first book concerns itself much with Anastasia's attempts to adjust to a BDSM relationship, the second book is an inverse of that, with the prime conflict being Christian Grey's attempt to adjust to a vanilla one. This is complicated by elements of Christian's past being dug up, such as the character of Elena Lincoln, an older lover of Christian's who first introduced him to sub/dom relationships when he was only fifteen. Her attempts to ruin the relationship between Ana and Christian coincide with the appearance of Jack Hyde, boss of Ana and all round jerk who ends up sabotaging Christian's helicopter in a bout of jealousy. These villainous figures both fail in their attempts, and Christian and Ana stay together, with the prospect of conflict carrying over into the third book.
The movie adaptation of Fifty Shades Darker could well stick closely to events, though hints have already been dropped that there could be a deviation from the source material. Just look at the above teaser, and tell me this movie will focus only on a vanilla relationship! Looks like Christian could be up to his old shenanigans, what with that mask and the promise of things getting "darker". If the movie is willing to adopt a different tone in the name of sensationalizing the story, then there's surely a chance it could deviate from EL James' original ending. Here are some alternate endings to Fifty Shades Darker!
Christian Chooses Elena Lincoln
Yeah this would be a pretty dark ending, but hey look at that title! The crux of Elena's character is essentially her being the opposite to Ana, and being emblematic of Christian's inability to change. Her presence in the story essentially consists of her trying to prove to Christian that he cannot stick with a vanilla relationship, and that he will inevitably return to a lifestyle that she is the arbiter of. This is easily brushed off in the story, with her being exposed for seducing Christian at such a young age, but what if it all happened differently? What if her arguments got through to Christian, and convinced him that he should leave Ana, and indulge in the life she can give him? This would set Ana up with a challenge for the third movie, and would be an interesting downer for the story to end on.
The helicopter crashes
The helicopter sabotage in Fifty Shades Darker becomes a slight red herring, with Christian making it to Ana safely, now equipped with the knowledge that the engines were tampered with. The entire plot point is essentially used to signify that Jack Hyde isn't just a jerk, but a jerk who is willing to kill to get back at Christian. My question is, what if his sabotage efforts work? I'm not suggesting that these movies kill off Christian Grey; that would be crazy. It would simply be interesting to put him in a more vulnerable position before the third movie. Having Fifty Shades Darker end with Christian in hospital and Ana by his side clearly telegraphs the stakes for the next movie, and gives Jamie Dornan's Christian some vital humanity and humility before the story's end.
Are there any alternate endings to Fifty Shades Darker that you would like to see? Write a post about it here on MoviePilot, and let's get the fandom talking!