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How Do You Solve a Problem Like Erika? Universal Hires Husband to Write ‘Fifty Shades Darker’

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Erika? Universal Hires Husband to Write 'Fifty Shades Darker'

The studio got a $567 million global grosser out of that deal, but finally they have to deal with a writer with a lot of power. For the second installment “Fifty Shades Darker,” they lost director Sam Taylor-Johnson, who fought with the opinionated James during production.

Many wondered if studio chief Donna Langley, who pursued the project and landed it, would give James the assignment to write the next screenplay. Now THR reports that James’s husband Niall Leonard (British TV’s “Wild at Heart” and “Wire in the Blood”) will adapt the screenplay for “Fifty Shades Darker.” 

Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan will return as the kinky lovers of the piece, as James, Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca produce. De Luca recently left his job as Sony production chief to return to full-time producing, moving his production shingle to Universal. Next up: finding a director who can handle intimate sex scenes and work cooperatively with James. One place to look: “Outlander” director Anna Foerster, who shot the Starz series’ popular –and sexy–marriage and honeymoon episodes. 

Clearly it is in the studio’s interest to get this project up and running as soon as possible. UPDATE: The release date is set for Valentine’s weekend 2017. 

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