Updated 06:50 PM EDT, Sun, Sep 26, 2021

'Fifty Shades Darker' Movie Release Date & Cast: Should Author EL James Direct Sequel Film? [Poll]

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Now that filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson has exited the "Fifty Shades of Grey" movie franchise, questions arise as to who will replace her in the director's chair. Rumor has it that the author of the 2011 erotic trilogy, which the films are based on, wants to direct the sequel titled "Fifty Shades Darker."

According to International Business Times, E.L. James has put her foot forward to be the director of the Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson starrer. James reportedly asked the producers of the project to let her direct the follow-up film. However, they have doubts in putting their trust on the author.

"They are hesitant in putting E.L. James in that position," a source told Hollywood Life. "She wants to do it, but the studio obviously sees the nightmares that could come from that."

It was in March when Taylor-Johnson decided to step out from the "Fifty Shades of Grey" franchise, International Business Times wrote. James' husband, Niall Leonard, is already hired by Universal Pictures to write the screenplay for the upcoming movie which will be more of a thriller than a developing love story between Dornan's Christian Grey and Johnson's Anastasia Steele.

"[It] has been an intense and incredible journey for which I am hugely grateful," Taylor-Johnson said, as quoted by the news outlet. "I have Universal to thank for that. I forged close and lasting relationships with the cast, producers and most especially, with Dakota [Johnson] and Jamie [Dornan]."

Producer Dana Brunetti recently tweeted that they are doing research for "Fifty Shades Darker." He also shared a photo on Twitter featuring a black mask, an object which has a huge significance for Christian's character in the sequel.

What do you think? Should James direct "Fifty Shades Darker?" Vote below.

Taylor-Johnson's departure from the movie franchise was a result of conflicting creative controls, Deadline reported. James wanted to make sure that the film would satisfy the 100 million fans of her popular novels, and the filmmaker felt "creatively handcuffed" by the author's wishes.

The BDSM-themed franchise follows the deepening relationship between handsome billionaire Christian and college student Anastasia as they both embark in kinky sexual activities.

Aside from "Fifty Shades Darker," IGN wrote that a third film has been confirmed. The original movie, which debuted in theaters on February 13, earned over half a billion dollars at the box office.

"Fifty Shades Darker" is slated for release in theaters on February 10, 2017, Venture Capital Post reported, while "Fifty Shades Freed" has a February 9, 2018 premiere date. Dornan and Johnson will be reprising their respective roles.

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