‘Fifty Shades’ Sequel Will Be “More of a Thriller”



Fresh from the success of two worldwide hits in Fifty Shades of Grey and Furious 7, Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley on Wednesday revealed her strategy for building franchises without the treasure trove of intellectually property enjoyed by other Hollywood studios.

Speaking during a keynote Q&A at The Hollywood Reporter’s ninth annual Power Lawyers breakfast, Langley detailed the challenges of building strong film franchises from the ground up and then maintaining their momentum.

With the Fifty Shades sequel Fifty Shades Darker scheduled for February 2017, Langley spoke to reports of creative tensions on the first movie between the studio, author E.L. James and director Sam Taylor-Johnson, who will not return for the next installments. “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. She described the second installment as “more of a thriller” and spoke to the recent hire of James’ husband Niall Leonard to write the script: “He actually did a draft that wasn’t credited on the first movie, and he did a really good job.”

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‘Furious 7,’ ‘Fifty Shades’ Push Universal to $1 Billion at International B.O.

Universal Pictures International has reached $1 billion in international box office grosses this year, thanks to the one-two punch of “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “Furious 7.”

This is the earliest in a calendar year that Universal has ever hit the 10-figure milestone. Its previous record was set on May 31, 2013. Universal has topped $1 billion internationally for nine straight years.

“Fifty Shades” has hit $401.2 million internationally since its Valentine’s Day weekend launch. Despite opening only a week ago, “Furious 7″ has already grossed $316 million in markets outside the U.S. It opens in China and Russia this weekend.



Mike De Luca Leaves Sony To Produce ‘Fifty Shades’ Sequels

Mike De Luca is leaving his post as Sony Pictures president of production to return to producing the Fifty Shades Of Grey saga at Universal, where he is making an overall deal. There were rumors about this for the past couple of weeks, after a different set of rumors he might replace Adam Goodman at Paramount. All of this followed Tom Rothman replacing Amy Pascal at the top of Sony. It was Pascal who hired De Luca, after they collaborated on such films he produced as The Social Network, Moneyball and Captain Phillips.

Initially, De Luca denied he was going to make this move. Despite the Sony shakeup that made sense as he was actively competing for projects, including the short film Sundays which went to Warner Bros. Also because De Luca was eager to burnish the rep he earned at New Line, where he became among the youngest production presidents at a major film company, and championed disruptive films from Boogie Nights to Se7en and many other memorable hits. Among the many execs he empowered who’ve gone on to great things was Donna Langley, who runs the show at Universal and remains very fond of De Luca and his willingness to trust his instincts and gut. Apparently the money involved in the future Fifty Shades installments–tens of millions of dollars, potentially–was too great for him to turn down. That film grossed $564 million worldwide, but it fell off the cliff quickly in the U.S. and its narrative became about the creative disputes that director Sam-Taylor Johnson had over control with E.L. James, who authored the book trilogy that sold over 100 million copies worldwide. De Luca will rejoin Dana Brunetti, his collaborator on The Social Network and Captain Phillips.



‘How To Be Single’ casting call for extras in New York City


Barbara McNamara Casting looking for actors, models, and talent to work on the upcoming feature film, ‘How To Be Single’ filming in New York City.

According to Deadline, ‘How to Be Single’ features Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Alison Brie, Dan Stevens and Leslie Man.

‘How To Be Single’ Casting Call:

Barbara McNamara Casting is looking for the following SAG and Non-union background actors for the movie How To Be Single. Shooting April 20th through June 24th, in the NYC Area.

-Model types- Males and females, ages 20-30. Beautiful, hip, cool, and fabulous 20 somethings, for club and party settings.

-Hip Bar Goers- Males and females, ages 20-40. Very attractive, fabulous, hip and cool city people, for very hip bar scenes.

Must be a US Citizen or Green Card holder



‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Director Sam Taylor-Johnson Won’t Direct Sequel

Sam Taylor-Johnson, who directed Fifty Shades of Grey, is not returning to direct the movie’s sequel.

"While I will not be returning to direct the sequels, I wish nothing but success to whosoever takes on the exciting challenges of films two and three," she said in a statement released today. She said of the hit movie starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, "Directing Fifty Shades of Grey has been an intense and incredible journey for which I am hugely grateful. I have Universal to thank for that. I forged close and lasting relationships with the cast, producers and crew and most especially, with Dakota and Jamie."

The sadomasochistic love story, released by Universal, opened to $85 million in North America, and has since gone on to $558.6 million worldwide. But while it’s proven a huge success, the production was also dogged by accounts of clashes between Taylor-Johnson and the book’s author EL James over control of the project’s direction.

With the movie’s screenwriter Kelly Marcel not expected to write the sequel, the franchise’s producers will be looking to assemble a new creative team for the follow-up film, which does not yet have a release date.



Fifty Shades of Grey Unrated Edition is Coming Home in May

The story of a searing love affair between a naïve college student and a billionaire entrepreneur, Fifty Shades of Grey, will have women worldwide planning a special Friday night in when the provocative love story comes home for the first time. Fans of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele will be able to have the ultimate at-home movie experience when Fifty Shades of Grey, which has grossed more than $500 million globally, comes to Digital HD Friday, May 1, and Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand Friday, May 8 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Based on E. L. James’ best-selling novel, the Blu-ray and Digital HD include an exclusive unrated version that features a never-before-seen alternate ending along with almost two hours of all-new bonus features that go behind the scenes of this year’s hottest romance.

Bonus Features Exclusive to Blu-ray:

  • Fifty Shades of Grey Unrated and Theatrical Versions

  • The World of Fifty Shades of Grey: Discover the artistry involved in creating everything Fifty Shades of Grey, including in-depth profiles of stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, and the characters they play.

    • CHRISTIAN GREY: Inside the world of Christian Grey and what makes him so magnetic and mysterious.

      • CHRISTIAN GREY PROFILE: Illustrated with film clips: Who is Christian Grey?

      • JAMIE DORNAN PROFILE: Meet the actor behind the iconic character.

      • CHRISTIAN’S APARTMENT: Living room, dining room, bedroom, bathroom and the Red Room

      • CHRISTIAN’S WARDROBE:  A look into Christian’s wardrobe.   

      • A RICH MAN’S TOYS: Christian’s cars, the plane, the helicopter, all of the recognizable items from the book, now on screen

    • ANA: Discovering Ana and what makes her so compelling and relatable.

      • ALL ABOUT ANA: Learn more about the Ana character

      • DAKOTA JOHNSON PROFILE: Meet the incredible actress behind Anastasia Steele.

      • ANA’S WORLD: Beginning with her life as college student to her transformation into a woman living a life of luxury with Christian Grey.

      • ANA’S WARDROBE: A look into Ana’s wardrobe.

  • E.L. James & Fifty Shades: A chat with the creator of “Fifty Shades,” discussing the history of the novel and the experience making the film.  Follow the author at the Premiere screening in New York and come full circle as the film is released to the fans.

  • Fifty Shades: The Pleasure of Pain: A discussion with the BDSM consultant and a show-and-tell with property master.

  • 360° Set Tours of Christian and Ana’s apartments including the Red Room

  • Music Videos from Skylar Grey, The Weeknd and Ellie Goulding

  • Behind the Scenes of The Weekend’s “Earned It” Music Video

Blu-ray and DVD Bonus Features:

  • The World of Fifty Shades of Grey—Friends and Family: Profiles of cast members including Eloise Mumford, Max Martini, Marcia Gay Harden, Luke Grimes, Jennifer Ehle, Victor Rasuk and Rita Ora

  • Behind the Shades: Follow alongside director Sam Taylor-Johnson, producers E. L. James, Mike De Luca and Dana Brunetti, actors Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson and the rest of the cast through the making of the movie, including a candid discussion about the most challenging aspects of the story.



Cineworld boosted as Fifty Shades of Grey sees record levels of weekend ticket sales

Cinema chain Cineworld has reported a 117.8% rise in pre-tax profits up to £67.3m for the 53 weeks to January 1 2015.

Group revenue now stands at £619.4m.

The controversial film Fifty Shades of Grey helped the group, which runs a cinema in the centre of Cardiff, achieve record levels of weekend admissions.

"Fifty Shades of Grey", which opened in February 2015, went beyond our expectations and helped us to achieve record levels of weekend admissions for the Group.



‘Fifty Shades’ Stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan Seeking Seven-Figure Deals for Sequels

Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan‘s Fifty Shades of Grey pay-day is definitely a huge one, since the film will reportedly top out at $550-million worldwide. Now, the stars will be reportedly be negotiating for a much higher salary, a seven-figure salary at that.

Despite its R-rating, fans and hate-watchers of the film alike have flocked to the theater to see Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele get it on in the red room of pain, and it did not disappoint in the entertainment department. In fact, the movie is quite enjoyable funny.

To date, the film has grossed $528 million worldwide. The same success is projected for the Fifty Shades sequels, even more so now that we know how delightfully hilarious Johnson is. She’s truly a gifted actress and a scene-stealer, not to mention easy on the eyes.

By now, Johnson and Dornan are aware of their sex-appeal and ability to transform the Twilight fan-fiction into a box-office mega-hit. And so accordingly, the leading actors are reportedly seeking out a seven-figure deal for the Fifty Shades sequels (Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed).

Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that “the pair received $250,000 each (plus tiered box-office bonuses)” to star in the sexy BDSM flick based off of E.L. James‘s mommy-porn erotic novel, and that they both signed three-picture deals.

THR also reports that neither pair received any “backend compensation” on the first film.

Of Johnson and Dornan’s franchise payday, the insider said, “It was a very basic franchise starter deal. Look at Twilight and Hunger Games, and that’s where it is heading.”

Now, “like most stars of franchise films, they will try to renegotiate for seven-figure raises for Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.”

In terms of negotiations, the Johnson and Dornan might look to Jennifer Lawrence, for example, who starred in the Hunger Games franchise. Lawrence reportedly received a $500,000 salary for the first film, and ultimately landed a $10 million paycheck for the second film, Catching Fire.

The film has far exceeded our expectations, probably all thanks to Johnson her easy-going comedic asides.

While Dornan and Johnson will be returning for the sequels, director Sam Taylor-Johnson is reportedly not expected to return due to clashing James (which is unfortunate, since her vision for translating the book to film was quite wonderful).

Until late 2016 (or Valentine’s Day 2017?), when we’ll have Johnson and Dornan back in the red room on the big screens.



Tricia McAlpin To Adapt ‘Forever, Interrupted’ For ‘Fifty Shades’ Dakota Johnson

EXCLUSIVE: Gidden Media and Good Universe set Tricia McAlpin to adapt Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Forever, Interrupted: A Novel as a star vehicle for Fifty Shades Of Grey‘s Dakota Johnson. The comedian, actress and writer also is writing the spinoff to Paul Feig’s hit comedy The Heat for Chernin Entertainment and Fox, and episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Amy Baer will produce through her company Gidden Media. Johnson also will serve as executive producer alongside Nathan Kahane and Joe Drake of Good Universe, and John Middleton and Roy Lee. Erin Westerman will oversee the project on behalf of Good Universe.

The book tells the story of a young woman who elopes after a whirlwind romance and then must face the sudden death of her adoring husband. She must come to terms with his loss while forming an unlikely relationship with his mother – who didn’t know she existed.

We’re thrilled that Tricia connected with Reid’s novel,” Baer said. “Not only is she an inspired writer with a singular voice, but she has a personal connection to the subject matter and will bring a tremendous amount of emotion to the adaptation. Coupled with her wicked sense of humor, Tricia will strike the perfect balance of comedy and pathos — which was always our goal for this beautiful book.” 

WME and Management 360-repped Johnson next will star in Studio Canal’s A Bigger Splash, which Fox Searchlight will release this year, and Black Mass opposite Johnny Depp, which Warner Bros. will open in September. Dan Freedman of Good Universe negotiated McAlpin’s deal on behalf of the producers. McAlpin is represented by UTA, 3 Arts Entertainment and Melissa Fox of Hansen, Jacobson, Teller.



Box Office: ‘Fifty Shades’ Becomes 6th R-Rated Film To Top $500M

Fresh off the presses, Fifty Shades of Grey has officially passed the $500 million mark at the worldwide box office. The Universal/Comcast Corp. film has earned $150m domestic (an impressive feat in-and-of-itself) and has earned $352m overseas for a $502m worldwide as of yesterday. As you of course know, the Dakota Johnson/Jamie Dornan erotic drama opened with a bang worldwide last month with a $93m four-day Fri-Mon domestic debut and a record-breaking (for an R-rated release) $266m global bow.