Nobody is really surprised by this announcement, given the behind-the-scenes difficulties Sam Taylor-Johnson had with Fifty Shades writer E.L. James, but Taylor-Johnson has made it official, by announcing her departure to Deadline:
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. 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.
The “exciting challenges of films two and three” sounds like code for “Good luck, chump! I hope you have better luck dealing with E.L. James — who wants to write the scripts for the next two movies — that I did.”
God bless her, Taylor-Johnson really did do about as well as you could expect with the first movie, managing to make it not completely terrible.
Good luck to Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan weaseling their ways out of the franchise, too. SAVE YOURSELVES.