Following the disturbing success of Fifty Shades of Grey it's full steam ahead at Universal on adapting the rest of the trilogy, with Fifty Shades Darker expected to land February 2017 and Fifty Shades Freed the following February.
But What Do Hannibal, Fifty Shades Darker and House of Cards Have In Common?
James Foley is reportedly in the running to direct Fifty Shades Darker, though the studio hasn't yet begun negotiations following Sam Taylor-Johnson's departure from the franchise.
James Foley brings a strong track record to the production with many features under his belt; he also directed an episode of Hannibal and many of House of Cards, both critically acclaimed shows, and was the best man at Madonna's wedding (true story).
"Because Foley has a proven track record for getting performances out of his casts, he seems a good choice here. Both Johnson and Dornan are relative newcomers playing roles that are far from easy." - Mike Fleming Jr.
Dakota Johnson will return as Anastasia Steele, as well as Jamie Dornan as counterpart Christian Grey. Niall Leonard, novelist, screenwriter and E.L. James' husband will be penning the script (because it's not like E.L. James doesn't have enough creative control already).
It Already Has A Teaser Trailer
Jamie Dornan, putting on a suit, looking menacing and totally not creepy at all. Oh no wait there's more! He also puts on his masquerade mask whilst the recognisable soundtrack (one piano note) plays in the background. How very brooding, I'm sure he'll be a lot of fun at the masquerade ball if he can pull himself away from making eyes at his own reflection long enough to attend.
The teaser was included on the Fifty Shades of Grey Blu-Ray, and it certainly seems to be attempting to keep in tone with the comments made by Universal's Donna Langley, who claimed Fifty Shades Darker will be darker (funnily enough) and "more of a thriller" than the first. Hmm.
But Can It Live Up To The Hype?
The cinematic adaptation is staying true to the books in so far as, despite the huge box office success of Fifty Shades of Grey, it received a mixed reception, and critics gave consistently negative reviews. Despite this, I'm sure the sequel will still be a commercial success, if not a critical one. Because that's what matters, right?
Part of the attraction of Fifty Shades was its initial controversy, and a lot of people were surprised when the film actually got the go ahead, but with the incredible spending power behind the franchise there's no way it wouldn't have.
However, time has passed. It's been five years since the first book was published, and after the first week or so of the film's release people lost interest quite quickly. The sequel, though it has been reported to be pushing for more of a thriller angle, can't rely upon the same amount of hype and curiosity as Fifty Shades of Grey was received with, though I have no doubt the PR frenzy will be in full swing to bolster this as we approach the next release.
But seriously guys, you might as well read this, then just go watch some porn or something instead.