Good news for fans of Fifty Shades of Grey: despite the film’s leads apparently loathing each other, and behind-the-scenes battles between director Sam Taylor-Johnson and author E.L. James, Universal has announced they are definitely making Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.
MTV reports this was made possible by the novel’s fervent fan following, who pushed the R-rated romance to record-breaking advance ticket sales a week ahead of its release. Fittingly, the announcement was made first to those who attended a special advanced fan screening at New York’s Zeigfeld Theatre, at which the cast, director and E.L. James were in attendance. As you may have guessed, the fans went wild.
We can safely assume whatever their feelings about each other, Johnson and Dornan’s contracts have them tied to both sequels. But considering the tensions between Taylor-Johnson and James, it seems likely Fifty Shades Darker will be in search of a new director.
In other sequel news, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 may not be the end of the massively popular movie franchise. Sure, Mockingjay was the end of the book series, but that’s just because Suzanne Collins is a fool, amirite? That seems to be the thought process of Lionsgate execs, who recently revealed plans in a conference call to wring every possible movie out of this fictional world.
Deadline revealed Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said he is “actively looking at some development and thinking about prequel and sequel possibilities.”
I won’t argue that there isn’t room to further explore the world of Panem, past what Collins’ books set up. Nonetheless, my guard goes up when “prequel and sequel” share the same sentence. It suggests, “whatever we can do to keep this cash cow ALIVE!”
However, Lionsgate has done incredible things with The Hunger Games property, not just in their films, but also with advertising that brought the world of Panem into our everyday lives. While this quote seems a bit crass, the right screenwriter could further develop this world into an interesting spin-off. A spin-off I’d be on board for. Leave Katniss alone. She’s been through enough.