Sam Taylor-Johnson’s film swept past $300m worldwide this week, despite some derision from critics, and Hollywood misgivings about James’s reported right of veto over its script. It has been suggested that the author threatened to withdraw her support unless her original dialogue was retained for the much-hyped big screen adaptation, as well as stepping in to persuade Taylor-Johnson to “spice up” the £27m film’s sex scenes.
With the James-approved version having proven a box office triumph, Variety reports that the author now wants to rewrite the screenplay for Fifty Shades Darker herself. Discussions with studio Universal are reportedly holding up the official announcement that the sequel has been greenlit.
If James were to pen her debut screenplay there would almost certainly be no return for Taylor-Johnson, who has admitted to multiple on-set spats with the author over the first film’s direction, nor original screenwriter Kelly Marcel. It also seems unlikely that the award-winning playwright Patrick Marber, whose reputedly elegant rewrite was apparently jettisoned by James in favour of her original dialogue, would be involved in the sequel.