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Sam Taylor-Johnson Will Not Direct ‘Fifty Shades Darker’

Sam Taylor-Johnson will not return to direct “Fifty Shades Darker,” the sequel to “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

Several reports, including one from Variety, said Taylor-Johnson had been looking to move on from the franchise, with sources saying constant arguments with author E.L. James over the direction of the film during its production forced Taylor-Johnson to reconsider her options.

With screenwriter Kelly Marcel not returning to adapt the sequel, Universal will now look to find a writer and director to replace the two. Variety first reported that James is very interested in adapting it herself and that U is considering it, but will begin meeting with people before deciding which option is best.

Sources say production is expected to get under way in the first quarter of 2016 with stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson on board to return.

Since opening over Valentine’s Day weekend, “Fifty Shades of Grey” has become a worldwide hit, grossing $558 worldwide and $164 million domestically.

No release date has been set yet for the sequel.

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