‘Fifty Shades’ Sequel to Be Written by E.L. James’ Husband

Niall Leonard 50 Shades of Grey
Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Niall Leonard, E.L. James’ husband, has been tapped to pen the screenplay for “Fifty Shades Darker,” the sequel to Universal’s “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan are attached to reprise their roles with James, Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca producing.

While this will mark Leonard’s first time working on a major studio film, he has written scripts for British television on such shows as “Wild at Heart” and “Wire in the Blood.” Variety first reported in February that the reason for the delay in naming a screenwriter for the sequel was that James herself wanted to write the screenplay.

While Leonard works on the script, the studio will now look to find a replacement for director Sam Taylor-Johnson, who announced last month she would not be returning.

No release date or production start date has been set, though sources close to the project still believe production would most likely start in the first quarter of 2016. The “Fifty Shades of Grey” franchise is a top priority for the studio following the first film’s success at the box office, with more than $567 million worldwide.

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  2. Georgina says:

    Instead of E L James acting like a petulant Diva, she should remember that the original scriptwriter and director are the reason the film was successful. As a fan of the film I fear the sequels will not be as good because the original team, who moulded the characters on set and made them who we know and love, will be replaced with others whose perception will be different. Ms James’s husband, whilst a scriptwriter, has never scripted a Hollywood movie and from his past work, I just can’t see how he can make this work. Was it the case that no-one else would work with Ms James because she was so difficult? Personally, she should have accepted that the original team were the ones responsible for turning her book into a successful movie and moved heaven and earth to keep them onside until the trilogy was completed. She might just live to regret perching up there on her pedestal believing she knows best, which will be a grave shame for supporters of the film, the cast and producers. In fact just as the original actor selected to play Christian was ousted because the public did not think him suitable, maybe film enthusiasts should strongly petition to have the original team reinstated, to ensure the characters and directing they have fallen in love with remain the same.

  3. Greysessed says:

    I hope they find a director soon so filming can start. I can’t wait for the second movie!

  4. John Maguire. says:

    My wife is looking to get me a job too

  5. filmsharks says:

    He has no screenwriting credits on IMDb. Hmm, maybe he spanked her until she allowed him to pen the sequel.

  6. Alexander says:

    Well, he’s better qualified than his wife to do it at any rate.

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