Fifty Shades Darker Will Be “More of a Thriller,” Studio Executive Says

Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan in "50 Shades of Grey"
Fifty Shades of Grey's sequel, Fifty Shades Darker, will be a "thriller," says a Universal exec.  Chuck Zlotnick/Universal

Upping the ante! Fifty Shades of Grey arrived in theaters this past February with an R-rating and enough BDSM sex scenes and awkward acting to make any viewer blush, but according to a Universal Pictures exec, the upcoming sequel Fifty Shades Darker will take it even further.

Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley spoke about the film in a talk with The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, April 29. She touched on her movie studio's many talked-about projects, including Fifty Shades, addressing the crowd at the trade publication's annual Top 100 Power Lawyers event. 

Langley hyped a worthy follow-up to the blockbuster adaptation of E L James' best-selling erotic novel, explaining that Fifty Shades Darker will be "more of a thriller." According to THR, she went on to discuss James' husband Niall Leonard, who was recently recruited to pen the script for the sequel. 

"He actually did a draft that wasn't credited on the first movie," Langley said of Leonard, who has previous screenwriting credits for work on TV series like Monarch of the Glen, Wire in the Blood, and Wild at Heart. "He did a really good job."

While Fifty Shades of Grey had a successful box office run, reaching a worldwide gross of about $569.5 million, the boundary-pushing flick was widely panned by critics. Some had praise for Dakota Johnson's performance of Anastasia Steele, but Jamie Dornan was raked over the coals by many for his turn as Christian Grey. Langley acknowledged the backlash, but stood by her studio's film. 

"For the record, the movie we ended up making is exactly the movie I wanted to make and that the studio wanted to make and that our director wanted to make," she said. The director Langley referenced, Sam Taylor-Johnson, will not be returning for the second movie, while Johnson and Dornan will. She and James reportedly clashed over the production, and a new director has yet to be named for Fifty Shades Darker

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