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Fifty Shades of Grey director talks on-set conflicts & Bond dreams

06.16.2017

When a movie is a smash hit it doesn’t necessarily mean it was because everything came together perfectly. Such was the case with the sexy drama, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. Director Sam Taylor-Johnson proves she has no trouble shooting explicit sex acts, and instead the difficulty came from working with the book’s author – E.L. James.

During a profile piece for THR to promote her new Netflix show, GYPSY, Johnson went into detail about why working on the movie with James, who had extensive creative control, was a problem from the get-go and lasted until the final day of shooting:

Two different creative visions. Her vision versus mine, and they were polar opposite. Every scene was fought over. It was tough. It was like wading uphill through sticky tar. Her thing was, "This is what the fans expect." I'd be like, "Well, let's try and hit those marks but create a new universe at the same time. "

Though at the time the movie’s opening weekend marked the largest for a female director (beaten by WONDER WOMAN) and went on to make over $500 million worldwide, Johnson was not brought back for the sequel, and was replaced by James Foley. Before the movie was released there were plans to have her involved with the next two movies (SHADES DARKER and SHADES FREED), but after this conflict the studio decided to change those plans:

There was a tentative plan that I would be involved with the following two. [But the studio] wanted to see how the first one went before any discussion. It went well in terms of box office. But less well with my relationship with Erika [James].

Johnson has kept herself busy after GREY, with GYPSY starring Naomi Watts hitting Netflix on June 30. As for the future, Johnson has big dreams that include taking on one of the greatest cinematic icons – James Bond:

I would love to direct a James Bond movie. I grew up on James Bond. One day, who knows?

Unlike many people I didn’t hate FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. From what I hear it was much different from the book (hence the squabbling), but from fans they said that actually worked in the movies favor. For that Johnson deserves a lot of credit. She tried her hardest to stick to her guns to make familiar material seem fresh, even if it cost future jobs. The movie may be “meh”, but that’s pretty badass – maybe not Bond-deserving badass – but still. Actually, I'd totally watch her Bond movie.

GYPSY debuts on Netflix June 30.

Source: THR

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