Sam Taylor-Johnson will not return for Fifty Shades Darker

Despite enjoying runaway success at the box office and scoring a number of solid critical reviews, Fifty Shades Of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson will not be returning to direct Fifty Shades Darker.

The director announced her decision with an official statement to Deadline, confirming that she will not be returning for round two and passing on her best wishes to whoever becomes her eventual successor.

“Directing Fifty Shades Of Grey has been an intense and incredible journey for which I am hugely grateful,” says Taylor-Johnson. “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.”

It has been well-publicized that Taylor-Johnson endured something of a struggle with author E.L. James throughout the production, and while that factor has not been publicly cited, it seems likely to have played a part in the director’s thinking. Screenwriter Kelly Marcel is also not expected to make a return.

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson are both contracted to appear in a further two films, with production on the first sequel scheduled to begin next year.

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