After Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson left the franchise after the perils of working with living nightmare E. L. James, it looked like the sequel might be in danger. Fans were excited when it was eventually confirmed that James Foley (At Close Range, Glengarry Glen Ross) was signed on to direct Fifty Shades Darker.
But despite this apparent step forward there's barely been a peep from the production since Foley was announced, with progress seemingly at a standstill.
Cast and Characters
"We're nowhere near casting. We haven't gotten into anything like that. We don't even have a casting director on it yet." Producer Dana Brunetti said following the appointment of Foley as director.
Now, hiring a casting director is pretty important, and it's one of the first things you'll be looking to do after the script is finalised. Given that E. L. James' husband Niall Leonard is writing said script you'd imagine he'd have it a bit easier than poor Kelly Marcel did, but somehow I doubt it.
Anyway, the casting director is important as he or she is in charge of filling the roles of key characters being introduced in Fifty Shades Darker. Those roles include Jack Hyde, Elena Lincoln (Mrs. Robinson) and Leila Williams.
It was rumoured that Henry Cavill, Ian Somerhalder, Theo James, Charlize Theron, Cara Delevingne and Alexis Bledel were all in talks to be attached, but none of them have commented on this aside Cavill who spoke out just to say that he wasn't involved in the movie at all. Honestly, the majority of those names are actors who are either already well established or are on the upwards trajectory into A-list status, so I wouldn't hold my breath for any of them getting involved.
Ratings Causing Problems?
Apart from the numerous other things it was critiqued for, Fifty Shades of Grey was criticised by fans for the lack of raunchy scenes included. Given that this is what the books consist largely of, you can see why this would be a disappointment to fans.
Again this is something we can possibly attribute to E. L. James not allowing Marcel to properly adapt the script (read the article) but also so the studio could get that magical R rating rather than NC-17, which would further limit the movies audience because a film about an abusive relationship disguised as romance is totally something we should be marketing to teenage girls.
Anyway, the rumour regarding Jamie Dornan going full frontal continues to circulate, with him apparently being offered an extra $1 million in order to cater to fan demand for raunchier scenes. This would definitely push the film into the NC-17 rating, though given the book's target audience I doubt this would cause a massive dent in the gross profits.
Lastly, E.L. James confirmed that she’ll be writing the book’s first sequel, Fifty Shades Darker, from Christian Grey’s perspective. This follows in the footsteps of the recent Grey wherein we got the exact same story as Fifty Shades just "dirtier" because it was from the perspective of the manipulative Grey who we learned hated Anna's roommate Kate (who was arguably the one person who operated with Anna's best interests at heart) and, my favourite, was angry and disgusted by the fact that Ana was a virgin. The idea!
"Anger lances through me. What can I do with a virgin? I glare at her as fury surges through my body."
Yeeep, nothing wrong with that sentence there at all.
Fifty Shades Darker is scheduled to be released February 2017.