Although the film adaptation of “Fifty Shades of Grey” received vastly negative reviews from the movie critics, director Sam Taylor-Johnson was praised for her visual take on this highly anticipated erotic film.
However, it is a well-known fact that there were some disputes over the film between the director and the book’s writer, E.L. James. Thus, their toxic relationship may have caused Taylor-Johnson to leave the director’s chair.
The British director confirmed her departure from the franchise with the following statement:
Directing Fifty Shades of Grey has been an intense and incredible journey for which I am hugely grateful. I have Universal to thank for that. I forged close and lasting relationships with the cast, producers and crew and most especially, with Dakota and Jamie. While I will not be returning to direct the sequels, I wish nothing but success to whosoever takes on the exciting challenges of films two and three.
Taylor-Johnson did not mention her reasons for leaving the franchise, but she is certainly not the first director to have given up on a successful franchise. Screenwriter Robert Orci was originally set to direct the 3rd film for J.J Abrams’ rebooted “Star Trek” franchise, but he later decided to remain as the producer of the film. “Scott Pilgrim vs the World ” director Edgar Wright also dropped out of Marvel‘s “Ant-Man” due to the creative differences between Wright and Marvel.
Similar to Wright’s situation, Taylor-Johnson had been experiencing creative clashes with James. It only gotten worse after James demanded more control over the script and the creative direction of the sequels.
Kelly Marcel, who is the screenwriter of the first film, is not expected to return to pen the script of the sequel as well. Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson will, however, return to the sequel to reprise their respective roles as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.
What do you think of Taylor-Johnson’s decision to leave the franchise? Who do you think should direct the next film? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.