So it seems like the long awaited Fifty Shades Darker is finally getting off to a start now, with production getting underway this month and a slew of new castings crawling out of the woodwork.
Recently three new cast members were confirmed, with a name that most know and two that you may not have heard of yet. Long time actress and model Kim Basinger signed on last month as Elena Lincoln, aka Mrs. Robinson; Arielle Kebbel hopped on board as Gia Matteo and Bella Heathcote was cast as Leila Williams.
But another new piece of casting news comes our way in the form of Brant Daugherty, who will be picking up the mantle of Luke Sawyer - bodyguard to human wet blanket Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson).
So who are these new characters? I swear they're all very well written and developed in the books. Honest. No lie.
A controversial character, Elena Lincoln is a former lover and current business partner of the titular Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). She owns a salon business with Mr Grey, but more importantly she's the older woman who "seduced" a young Christian into the life of BDSM (or at least the faux BDSM that the books perpetrate).
It's worth pointing out that Lincoln seduced Christian when he was 15 years old. He probably wasn't even old enough to spell statutory rape, but hey it's okay though cause she's a woman, right? Of course Ana gets her panties in a bunch about the fact that she and Grey and still friends and Lincoln in turn reacts towards her, becoming an antagonistic force in an attempt to sabotage her relationship with Christian. Classic abuse tactics, nice.
A fairly secondary character, Gia Matteo is yet another one who exists to sow discord in Ana and Christian's relationship. She's a gorgeous architect hired by Christian to build his home, so naturally Ana feels threatened by her as she does with ever other female character in the books because she's just so darn insecure and adorable ain't she?
Ana gives Gia the nickname "Miss-Provocative-And-Unfortunately-Good-At-Her-Job", because how dare she be attractive AND competent in her chosen line of work. Bloody women these days.
As well rounded and developed a character as Ana herself, Leila left Grey around two and half years before the events of Fifty Shades of Grey to marry her husband, who she then left for a lover who then died in a car crash. Tough luck.
Leila actually looks a lot like Ana because Ana is the centre of the universe, but unlike Ana she actually has some semblance of a personality. Or at least she did until she had a mental breakdown following the death of her lover, slicing her wrists open during Fifty Shades of Grey in an attempt to recapture Grey's attention because why not?
During Fifty Shades Darker she starts stalking Ana, and the whole mess cumulates in her threatening the defenceless Miss Steele at gunpoint. Thankfully the day is saved by Grey because of course it is, and she's shipped off to the mental hospital for her sins. Bye Leila! That's what you get for being a woman in the Fifty Shades universe.
Luke Sawyer is a member of Grey's security team assigned to protect Ana from all those pesky women who keep threatening her, and more specifically to keep creepy creepy Jack Hyde away from her.
Hyde - who will be portrayed by Eric Johnson in Fifty Shades Darker - is the Acquisitions Editor at Seattle Independent Publishing (SIP) and Ana's new boss. Pretty much the minute she starts work he starts sexually harassing her and starts a campaign of revenge against Grey after he sabotages his attempts to get freaky with Ana. Oh, Grey also purchases SIP and has Hyde fired, in case you forgot for a moment about how much money he has to throw around.
Seriously though, do any of the characters in these books have their own lives beyond, and care about anything else but Ana and Christian's relationship? I guess not, as the official plot synopsis reads:
"While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront the anger and envy of the women who came before her."