Whatever you think of Fifty Shades of Grey - and everybody and their workplace lover has an opinion - you can't stop the juggernaut. Better to embrace it in all of its BDSM glory, and not think too much about the quality of the story itself. Put it this way - you don't go to Starbucks for a burger.
So with the first movie behind us and Fifty Shades Darker scheduled to ruin several million Valentine's dates in 2017, let's take a look at the new additions to the cast who'll be keeping things fresh in Universal's sequel.
Fans of the book series will know that Jack Hyde is kind of like the alt-Christian. His childhood was pretty screwed up - his father was killed in a bar fight and his mother quite enjoyed a good tipple, so Jack grew up in foster care. Christian was placed in Jack's foster home after his mother offed herself, and they got along, at least until the Grey family adopted Christian, which left Jack consumed by jealousy.
He later attended Princeton, studying English Literature and ended up as an editor at Seattle Independent Publishing. Now, I'm sorry - I can usually suspend my disbelief when it comes to movies, but it's common knowledge that nobody ever got a decent job off the back of an English Lit degree. Come on, E.L. James - research game weak.
Anyway, Jack as we encounter him in Darker is your classic antagonist - reckless behaviour, flimsy revenge antics, with a sprinkling of attempted sexual assault thrown in for good measure. Which actor could embody such a dastardly piece of work in the movie? I suggest...
He might be slightly on the younger side, but Nick Jonas is not exactly averse to stripping off, so he'd be right at home in this franchise - particularly if, as rumour has it, Fifty Shades Darker is committed to ramping up the raunch factor and getting a little more graphic. Seriously, google the man. He's come a long way since the days of the Jonas Brothers...
And if Jonas' age really is a problem, how about Adam Levine? The Maroon 5 frontman has plenty of sex appeal, and weirdly even looks a little like Jamie Dornan... he's perfect to play the "brother gone bad" aspect of Jack Hyde.
Elena is another villain figure who first pops up in Fifty Shades Darker when Christian and Ana attend a masquerade ball. (Does anybody in real life hold masquerade balls, or do they happen only in movies? It's basically just a great big excuse for everybody to get involved in an orgy or somebody to commit murder and get away with it. One to add to the bucket list...)
Anyway, Elena is Christian's "business partner". Ana learns that she and Grey have been doing the deed since Christian was 15 (Elena is substantially older, which makes her kind of a predator, but she's a woman so that's obviously OK.) When Elena realises that Christian's feelings for Ana go beyond mere sexual desire, she becomes taken over by envy and tries her best to sabotage the relationship.
This role obviously requires somebody with a vampy, wild, borderline animalistic kind of sexuality, so naturally my mind jumped straight to...
That's right, the Catwoman herself. The only problem with casting Halle Berry is that Christian would never believably stay with Ana if Elena looked like that. Then again, this is Fifty Shades we're talking about - logic is merely optional. Berry won a Razzie for her role as the feline villain, so if she was really disinclined to star in another movie of such trashy calibre, a safe alternative choice would be Kim Cattrall - Sex & The City's Samantha is the prototypical cougar, after all.
What else do we know about Fifty Shades Darker?
Everything's still a bit sketchy right now, but with the DVD and blu-ray release of Fifty Shades of Grey, Universal did share this brief teaser for the sequel movie which sees Christian get masked.
As I wrote previously, I'd like to see Darker switch things up and be a little less vanilla - more intensity between the sheets would be a pretty good start.
Fifty Shades Darker releases February 10, 2017, so expect your boyfriend to an organise a suspiciously convenient business trip for that month...