‘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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