Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson exits franchise

Published Thursday, Mar 26 2015, 08:58 GMT  |  By  |  Add comment
Sam Taylor-Johnson has left the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise.

The director has confirmed she will not return to helm sequels Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, despite the massive commercial success of the first movie.

Dakota Johnson, E.L. James, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Jamie Dornan at 65th Berlin Film Festival (Berlinale) - 'Fifty Shades of Grey' premiere, 11 February 2015

© WENN / Frederic/Future Image

Sam (third from left) with Dakota, Jamie and E.L. James at the Berlin Film Festival in February.

In a statement, she said: "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 [Johnson] and Jamie [Dornan]. 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."

Her exit comes after rumours of creative difference between herself and writer E.L. James.

Fifty Shades of Grey was released in February and broke box office records worldwide. It's grossed more than half a billion dollars at the box office so far – despite many critics predicting it would be a failure.

Based on the erotic novels by E.L. James, the story follows billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie) as he seduces the naive Ana Steele (Dakota) and introduces her to his world of BDSM.

An unrated version of the movie with an alternate ending will be released in May.

Watch a scene from Fifty Shades:

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