It's been a quiet summer for Fifty Shades of Grey fans. Whilst EL James' Grey book, told from Christian's perspective and including such WTF-worthy zingers as "My hand glides down her ass to the blue string and I tug out the tampon," kept fans of the book series busy for at least a day or two, there's been no solid news on the sequel movie, Fifty Shades Darker, for a while now.
That blackout has had the media speculating that Darker is suffering production issues regarding budget and salaries, and that it might miss the Valentines Day 2017 theatrical bow it's currently scheduled for. But the truth is that sometimes no news is good news, and all is probably just silent because production hasn't actually begun on the film yet - so until the legendary Mr. A. Source brings a more credible rumour to the party, dressed as a nurse with a bow on her panties, there's only one good reason to be losing sleep, and it's not this film.
Anyway, there's still no director attached to Darker, despite the rumour mill dropping the name of frequent House of Cards director James Foley into the mix, so here's a suggestive look at three different directors whose resumes prove they have what it takes to make the Grey sequel something special.
David Fincher - The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Not everybody understood why the Swedish breakout hit thriller The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo needed to be remade by Hollywood a mere two years after the first film came out, but David Fincher took the source material and improved it. His interpretation was closer to the book and Rooney Mara absolutely owned the role of Lisbeth, channeling the same menace and vulnerability found on the page.
At first glance it seems like a weird frame of reference for Darker, but in Dragon Tattoo (and his follow-up movie Gone Girl), Fincher demonstrated his ability to write complex relationships, which could add some depth to the dynamic shared by Anna and Christian. As both the gruesome rape scene in Dragon Tattoo and that bloody sex scene in Gone Girl demonstrate, Fincher knows how to use sex as a tool to get his audience talking, which is exactly what the Fifty Shades franchise should be striving for. With no movie project officially announced for next year, Fincher could be drafted in to steer Darker to critical and financial success.
Lars von Trier - Nymphomaniac
Don't be fooled by the title: Nymphomaniac is not just a film about sex (although there's plenty of it). This film is art. It's about human relationships, told through the medium of sex. If Universal wanted to lift Darker above soapy storylines and softcore BDSM, they could do a lot worse than recruiting Lars von Trier - but they might have to reign him in, given his predilection for making 5½-hour epics.
Steve McQueen - Shame
Before he swept the Oscars with last year's 12 Years a Slave, British director Steve McQueen helmed this frosty, depressing look at sex addiction, in which the guilt and self-loathing induced by his vice slowly eat away at Brandon (Michael Fassbender). Like Christian Grey, Brandon has sex on the brain 24 hours a day, but unlike Christian, he sees that this is a problem. McQueen is probably too classy a filmmaker to join the Grey franchise, but considering Shame was an undeserved flop at the box office (despite the free promotion of Fassbender going full frontal), Darker would give him a chance to share his perspective with a mainstream audience.
So, there we have it - three directors who could give their signature touch to Fifty Shades Darker. Do you agree with the choices, and who else could do the job? Don't be shy - leave a comment below and share your thoughts.