With a worldwide gross of over $550 million to date, the cinematic version of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey has been a smash hit. But with the two sequels Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed currently in pre-production over at Universal Pictures, it has now been officially announced that director Sam Taylor-Johnson won’t be returning.
In a statement, Taylor-Johnson said:
“Directing Fifty Shades Of Grey has been an intense and incredible journey for which I am hugely grateful. I have Universal to thank for that. I forged close and lasting relationships with the cast, producers and crew and most especially, with Dakota and Jamie. While I will not be returning to direct the sequels, I wish nothing but success to whosoever takes on the exciting challenges of films two and three.”
It is no secret that Taylor-Johnson clashed with author James on the set of the first film, so it isn’t too much of a surprise to hear of her departure. As yet there’s no word on a potential replacement, but stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan are reprising their roles as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey.