Updated 06:38 AM EDT, Tue, Apr 20, 2021

EL James Not Writing 'Fifty Shades Darker' Movie Script! Spoilers, Release Date & Cast Rumors Here

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While most film franchises would like to have a seasoned writer pen the script of their story, "50 Shades of Grey" author EL James wants to keep much of it within the family.

The writer has tapped her husband of 28 years, Niall Leonard, to write the script of the sequel, titled "50 Shades Darker," The Hollywood Reporter (THR) learned.

Before you rise up in protest, Leonard is also a writer and screenwriter, and THR said he has given some input in the first film's script (but remained uncredited). According to People Magazine, Leonard is known for penning the "Crusher" book series, and has also worked for British TV shows as a scriptwriter, including "Air Force One Is Down" and "Wire in the Blood." Check out Leonard's website to see his work.

In a statement sent to THR, "50 Shades" producer Michael De Luca said, "Niall is an outstanding writer in his own right, with multiple established credits, and we are lucky to have him join Team Fifty."

At least there's going to be a team to speak of. In a report, Time Magazine said James, who has earned a reputation for demanding total control over her series, clashed with director Sam Taylor-Johnson during the production. As a result, neither the director nor screenwriter Kelly Marcel will be returning to the franchise despite "50 Shades" being the biggest box-office film in their careers thus far.

Explaining her exit from the franchise, Taylor-Johnson said in a statement she issued to Us Weekly: "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 [Johnson] and Jamie [Dornan]. 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."

Despite its success, "50 Shades" is not faring so well for the sequel. Taylor-Johnson's departure sent the studio in a frenzy to find a replacement, and to top it off, stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan have not officially enlisted themselves to reprise their roles as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, as they are still negotiating for a larger paycheck, Time added.

While Dakota and Jamie's return has not been sealed, it seems that British singer Rita Ora is excited about the prospect of acting again, because according to Melty.com, despite her 90-second cameo in the first film, it seems that she has taken an interest in acting, saying in a leaked email that she "would love to continue working with great artists and find unique-strong female characters along the way."

What do you think of the messy changes for the sequel to "50 Shades of Grey"?

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