Fifty Shades of Grey - as in the film series and the books - has become ingrained in pop culture. Whether you love it or love to hate it, chances are you're talking about it, and that's why the first movie took half a billion dollars at the box office. Every now and then I come across "news" about the sequel, Fifty Shades Darker, which upon further investigation seems to be a rumour dressed up as fact - because actually, not a whole lot is yet known about the second movie in this lucrative franchise.
With that in mind, I thought it could be fun to face the rumour mill head on and debunk everything that's false - and perhaps find a few nuggets of truth as well. Let's do this.
Rumour 1: Fans are mad at Jamie Dornan
According to a fairly absurd article in RealtyToday, a portion of the Grey fanbase is mighty pissed at Mr. Grey himself, Jamie Dornan, for having a baby with his wife Amelia Warner, and daring to take some time off from making movies to be a Dad. On the one hand, it's not difficult to imagine that some fans are so consumed by the need to get their fix of Darker as soon as is humanly possible that they would disparage a man for wanting to be a good father - but on the other, this rumour has been clearly been pulled out of a dark anatomical region. RealtyToday haven't even gone to the bother of quoting anybody - and until Mr. A. Source speaks on the subject, we don't believe a word of it.
VERDICT: Totally not true.
Rumour 2: No casting director yet
A bunch of recent pieces on the internet, including this one from Inquisitr, state that the film has yet to appoint a casting director. Clearly, production can't begin on Darker until that happens. In my opinion, this rumour is quite credible. Usually appointment of key production members goes public, and with a director only recently found for the movie, it's quite possible that a casting director has yet to be chosen. Which is a little ironic when you think about it.
VERDICT: Let's assume it's true.
Rumour 3: Charlize Theron
Bear with me a moment. I need a second to gather myself. Okay, we're good. Everybody's been going a little bit mental when it comes to suggestions for the supporting players in Darker, and one of the big ones - the role of Elena Lincoln - has been linked with none other than Charlize Theron, star of Prometheus and Mad Max: Fury Road, among many others. The stark truth? Theron is not going to take a minor role in the second film of a franchise like this whilst her career is in a such good place.
VERDICT: Strictly wishful thinking.
Rumour 4: Things are off-schedule
These whispers have been doing the rounds for a while now, beginning with Universal's delay in appointing a director after Sam Taylor-Johnson exited the project, with James Foley currently in the chair. Other recent pieces, though, have suggested that pre-production has begun, which would imply a filming date of early 2016, allowing the film to make its Valentine's Day 2017 release slot. This one's too tough to call.
VERDICT: It'll be out by Feb 2017.
Rumour 5: Cara Delevingne could feature
Unlike the Charlize Theron rumour, this one is not totally out there. Delevingne has a major role in Suicide Squad next year, but her recent starring vehicle Paper Towns failed to reach the audience who went crazy for The Fault in Our Stars, meaning Delevingne still has plenty to prove to those who think she's just a model trying her luck in Hollywood, rather than a serious actor. (For the record, I think she's brilliant.) But whilst the film wouldn't be beneath her, and female audiences have good awareness of her brand, it still strikes me as an odd fit.
VERDICT: Don't hold your breath...
Rumour 6: Expect to see more of Rita
Rita Ora is in the strange position of having half the world know her name, despite the fact that her music isn't especially successful outside the UK and she's never had a major acting role. Essentially, she just has incredible PR people. Despite the major deal made of her role in Grey, it was essentially just a cameo, but there's every reason to imagine she'll get expanded screentime in Darker. She's gorgeous, after all, and clearly on a path to world domination.
VERDICT: The most believable rumour. That Rita radiation is spreading.
Are you excited for Darker? Have you come across any rumours recently? Share your wisdom in the comments!