Author E.L. James Wants to Script 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Sequel Herself

February 19, 2015
Source: Variety

Fifty Shades Darker

Since the box office take for Fifty Shades of Grey was more than impressive (with over $311 million worldwide so far), it's a forgone conclusion that the sequel, Fifty Shades Darker, will be fast-tracked. After all, we already heard before the first film hit theaters that both Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed were going to move forward at Universal Pictures. However, it sounds like the second film in the series might get held up a little bit, because author E.L. James is seeking more control over the screenplay this time. Apparently this is what's holding up any movement to get the sequel in front of cameras quickly.

James had considerable control over the first film, which including casting approval of Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), and also received a producer credit on the film. In fact, James was so involved on production that Sam Taylor-Johnson was rather exasperated and exhausted after the film was finished, so much that she questioned whether she wanted to make a movie ever again. The director told Variety:

“We disagreed a lot. She created these characters and the story. I was trying to create a film experience that would honor the book but at the same time give us a fresh perspective. That was difficult for her. We’d battle things out. I think you could say we crossed every scenario through our battles.”

So it's obvious why James wants control over the screenplay for the second film. It was Kelly Marcel who scripted the first film, but it sounds like both she and Taylor-Johnson will not be returning for Fifty Shades Darker. However, this is bad news for anyone who wants some semblance of quality writing, because there have been plenty of fans of the book who have said the film actually improved upon the poor writing in the book itself. So bringing in the author of the sub-par erotic novel to write the entire screenplay for the sequel doesn't sound like a good idea at all.

Anyway, with Fifty Shades Darker currently held up, there's no way for production to begin until the first quarter of 2016 at the earliest. So that means Universal won't be able to take advantage of a Valentine's Day release date again. But at this point, they can release the film anytime and people will turn up for it. In addition, the uncertainly of the production timetable is also holding back Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson from taking on other roles. It sounds like James needs to let go of her creation and let the filmmakers improve upon her lackluster material, and maybe make it a bit sexier. Thoughts?

Find more posts: Development, Movie News



Uh yeah. The film was better than the books because someone else tried to rewrite James' drivel and Sam Taylor-Johnson did her best to elevate it onscreen. Having James pen the script to a sequel would be a bad, bad move in my view. If they want the sequels to have a chance at being better than the first film (and let's be honest, the most you could rate it would be "okay") then James needs to be involved LESS, not more.

Kiki on Feb 19, 2015


If the first film's a faithful adaptation of the first book then I don't understand why the book was so popular.

C.A. Hall on Feb 19, 2015


She is such a good writer. You can tell she really loves the characters. Much more than the original writer. (NB: 50 SHADES was written as fan fiction for THE TWILIGHT Series). NB: sarcasm.

DAVIDPD on Feb 20, 2015


Doesn't she know that it's drivel? She knows, right? Even people who enjoyed the books thought so.

OfficialJab on Feb 20, 2015


....and the dumbening of humanity continues....

TheOct8pus on Feb 20, 2015


I've heard more than I ever needed to about this E.L.James and every time I get the impression the, well, unlikely success of these books went straight to her head and now she thinks she's Spielberg, Hemingway and JK Rowling all mixed into one. I don't want to sound bitter, awesome that she hit the jackpot, but she may be the only person in the world who can look at those books and think that it was her writing talent that led to her success. Even tremendous novelists are notoriously bad screenwriters, and she is anything BUT a tremendous novelist. If I were her I'd take a good look in the mirror, realize my strength - my ONLY strength - is in writing cheesy, steamy sex scenes, and stop trying to delve into every other corner of the entertainment industry.

Wafffles on Feb 20, 2015


Fifty Shades Freed Part 1, followed by Fifty Shades Freed Part 2 a year later.

Gex on Feb 21, 2015

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