Universal’s steamy FIFTY SHADES OF GREY franchise is heating up, with James Foley officially coming on board to direct the sequels, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.
That’s not all, as the films will also be shot back to back, aiming for a release date of Feb. 10, 2017 and Feb. 9, 2018, respectively. The next chapters in the phenomenon will establish February as a new space for tentpole films, as the first pic earned an astounding $560 million worldwide after a February release.
Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson are set to reprise their respective roles as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, while producers Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti also return. E L James, author of the hugely successful series, is also coming back to produce while her husband, Niall Leonard, scripts the future installments. Sam Taylor Johnson directed the first entry in the trilogy and while although it was a financial hit, the film received a lukewarm response from critics and fans alike.
Foley fits the bill for the new direction of the series, which De Luca confirmed would be tonally more like that of a thriller. Foley previously helmed the romantic thriller Fear, which starred Mark Wahlberg and Reese Witherspoon. He also helmed Glengarry Glen Ross and has experienced a boom in the TV space, directing episodes of acclaimed series House of Cards, Hannibal, and Wayward Pines.
Foley is repped by UTA and Brillstein Entertainment.
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Clark Allen | Associate Editor
This news was first reported by TheWrap.