E.L. James is into control. The characters in her hit novel Fifty Shades of Grey are into control.
Now that the movie is out, making money hand-over-fist, and infuriating critics, she wants to use that control for the sequel, Fifty Shades Darker.
James waited to shop her book around to to the movie studios until after it became a best seller.
This was wise, as she was then able to negotiate a deal that gave her casting approval and way more creative input than an author would normally get.
She has no movie experience whatsoever, but was still able to get her voice heard in creative meetings, on the set, and even in the editing room.
This led to fights, delays, and meant that director Sam Taylor-Johnson and screenwriter Kelly Marcel will not be back for the sequel.
James has always had a vision for the film, but the studio demanded that the sexual content be toned down. This lead to a 'too many cooks' scenario which has most likely hurt the film.
Judging by the Fifty Shades of Grey reviews, critics aren't thrilled with the film, as it apparently lacks the passion, plot, or sex-appeal that they were hoping for.
Sure, millions are seeing it, but are they truly being titillated?
The studio is locked into its two leads, even though Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson hate each other. But James will most likely write the script for the sequel herself, meaning that a release date on Valentines day next year is unlikely.
But other questions arise as well ...
- Will it be sexier?
- How much sexier will it be?
- Why wasn't this first one as sexy we wanted it to be?
- Shouldn't a movie version of the sexiest book ever written also be sexy?
- Who's fault is it that it wasn't so sexy?
- Are those people gone, so now the sequel can be sexy?
- Why are these unsexy people being mean to E.L. James? She wrote a sexy book!