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Fifty Shades sequel will likely not be directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson

02.11.2015

I am just going to cut to the chase here and be blunt: no matter how awful FIFTY SHADES OF GREY is from a critical standpoint, it is going to make a shitload of money. That means we are going to see at least two more films based on the trilogy of novels with the studio likely splitting the final book in half because that is what they do. Needless to say, after the director search that happened for the first film, it seems unlikely that Sam Taylor-Johnson will be returning for another chapter in the BDSM saga.

The Hollywood Reporter claims that despite official comments, author E.L. James and Taylor-Johnson clashed regularly during the production. Despite bringing in award-winning screenwriters, James was adamant that her original dialogue be kept intact. Having read sections of the novels, anyone can tell you how bad of an idea that would be. Universal needs to hedge their bets and still release a watchable film and that would mean making changes.

While James pressed for more explicit sex scenes, Taylor-Johnson wanted to make the film more subtle. The biggest clash came with the ending of the film.

It seems the battle between author and director climaxed over the ending of the movie. The first book ends after Steele asks Grey to hit her with his best shot. He obliges, and Steele recoils and leaves him. While Taylor-Johnson wanted to end the movie with the safe word "red," James insisted that the final word be "stop." The difference may seem insignificant, but sources associated with the project agree that the version favored by Taylor-Johnson was part of a smarter ending. ("Stop" is not the last word in the first book but nonetheless matched James' vision.) "Erika would not let go," says the rep. "Maybe fans would say she did the right thing."

I would like to say that FIFTY SHADES OF GREY is better off with an actual filmmaker making it than a yes man willing to transcribe the book to the screen, but we won't know until we see the finished product. While I will not be going to the theater for this movie, I am curious as to whether it is even watchable or if it is TWILIGHT levels of bad.

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY opens this Friday.

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