James Foley is the frontrunner to direct Fifty Shades Darker
The upcoming sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey, titled Fifty Shades Darker, is said to be “more of a thriller” than the previous film, and so Universal Pictures is reportedly zeroing in on a director known for taut thrillers: James Foley. Deadline states that Foley, famous for such films as Glengarry Glen Ross and the Halle Berry thriller Perfect Stranger, is the clear frontrunner for the gig, although negotiations have not yet begun partly because the studio is still deciding whether or not to hire their desired helmer to make the second film back-to-back with the third, Fifty Shades Freed.
Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter confirms Foley as the top choice but also lists former music video director Mark Pellington (The Mothman Prophecies, Arlington Road) and Tanya Wexler (who made the vibrator comedy/romance Hysteria) as being still in the mix. Part of the reason Foley has the edge over the other two is he has earned praise for helming a dozen episodes of Netflix’s hit “House of Cards,” which Fifty Shades‘ Dana Brunetti also produces.
The erotically-charged romance Fifty Shades of Grey capitalized on it’s naughty-but-not-too-naughty aesthetic to the tune of almost $570 million worldwide and counting, although on-set conflict between author E L James and director Sam Taylor-Johnson led to the latter and screenwriter Kelly Marcel opting not return for the sequel, which will be penned by James’ husband Niall Leonard.
Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson return as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, the second and third chapters based on the worldwide bestselling “Fifty Shades” phenomenon. Expanding upon the events set in motion in Fifty Shades of Grey, the films will again become the motion-picture events for Valentine’s Day 2017 and 2018. Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti, alongside E L James, the creator of the series, also return to produce.