You may not know the name Niall Leonard, but he’s the better (maybe kinkier?) half of E.L. James, the best-selling author of the “Fifty Shades Of Grey” trilogy. As has been well-documented by now, she’s been very vocal about the big screen adaptation of her work, battling director Sam Taylor-Johnson, who has since departed the franchise. One of the holdups in getting “Fifty Shades Darker” going has been settling on a screenwriter — James wanted to write the script herself, Universal would rather her not. Well, a solution has been found.
The aforementioned Niall Leonard has been tasked with the gig. He’s a writer for British television (“Wire In The Blood,” “Wild At Heart“), and surely his famous wife, who has very particular demands about her cinematic erotica, will have no influence on his adaptation. (Yes indeed folks, that’s sarcasm). But we suppose Universal is just happy the matter is settled.
So, now the hunt begins for a director. And, oh yeah, settling the pesky issue of paying Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan a bit more. No release date yet for “Fifty Shades Darker.”