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Fifty Shades author demands to write the sequel; may delay release

02.19.2015

If there is anything shocking about the release of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, it is not the fact that the movie has already grossed $300 million worldwide in less than one week of release. No, the shocking thing is that Universal has yet to announce the go ahead for production on the sequel, FIFTY SHADES DARKER. It seemed like a no-brainer that the sequel would be fast-tracked, but now we may know the reason why it hasn't.

Variety is reporting that sources claim the author of the FIFTY SHADES OF GREY novels, E.L. James, is demanding to be given screenwriting duties on the sequel despite having never written a script in her life. We had already heard rumblings of discord between James and director Sam Taylor-Johnson over creative choices in the film. Now it looks like Taylor-Johnson and screenwriter Kelly Marcel won't be back for the next film.

What's the big deal about James taking over? Before we get into that, read this brief section from one of the FIFTY SHADES OF GREY books.

I glimpse his rippling shoulder muscles glistening with his perspiration in the dim light. He’s so freaking hot. Oh…! I’m so close. He senses my quickening and two fingers glide roughly through my wetness and straight to my sweet spot, the other arm snakes up my body where he pinches my nipple and twists violently. I shudder and groan in ecstasy, thrashing my head about as I detonate my release.

Anyone who has ever read a book knows instantly how poor of a writer James is. By having her take over as writer, Universal needs to build in additional time for potential rewrites and revisions which means the movie may not be able to go into production this year, pushing it to 2016 or 2017 at the earliest. Unlike writers like Gillian Flynn or J.K. Rowling, James does not appear to have gotten any better as her novels progressed. This is a bad move for all involved.

Regardless of what you think of the film's content, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY has a devoted following which makes this disappointing news and also a tough business decision for Universal. If they let James write the script, they are setting a bad precedent for future adaptations of successful novels. If they don't, they risk alienating the author and the fan base for the books. It is the Catch-22 that no one cares about.

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY is now playing.

Source: Variety

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