Belfast Telegraph

Fifty Shades film trilogy in doubt as director Sam Taylor-Johnson pulls out

By Daisy Wyatt

The future of the Fifty Shades movie trilogy starring Jamie Dornan has been thrown into question after its acclaimed director pulled out.

Sam Taylor-Johnson - who was credited with adding some artistic credibility to the Fifty Shades of Grey movie released last month - has confirmed she will not be returning to direct the next two Fifty Shades films. Her withdrawal raises the question of whether Northern Ireland actor Dornan and his co-star Dakota Johnson will return for the sequels after both spoke in the past about the importance of the director to the project.

"Directing Fifty Shades of Grey has been an intense and incredible journey for which I am hugely grateful," said Taylor-Johnson. "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."

Soon after confirming the development, she posted a picture with Dornan to Instagram, showing that she still is on good terms with the actor who plays Christian Grey.

Taylor-Johnson has previously admitted it was "difficult" and "frustrating" working with Fifty Shades creator EL James on the film.

The director said James attended the set every day and the pair "would have proper on-set barneys".

There was also reported differences with James over Taylor-Johnson's decision to tone down the graphic nature of the sex scenes between Dornan and his co-star.

The acclaimed artist disclosed that James had not contacted her or congratulated her during the promotional tour ahead of the film's release.

Fifty Shades Darker, based on the second book in James' best-selling erotic trilogy, is due to be released in 2017.

Dornan and Johnson are understood to be contracted to play the roles in the final two films although both were clearly happy with the direction the debut movie was taken in. The final book is set to be adapted for the big screen in 2018.

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