Fifty Shades Darker may well have secured a director in the wake of Sam Taylor Johnson's departure.
James Foley is reportedly leading the pack of potential directors in the running to direct the follow-up to Universal's erotic drama Fifty Shades of Grey.
Sam Taylor Johnson quit the franchise after one film following alleged clashes with author EL James who retained creative control throughout filming.
Despite being panned by critics the film grossed more than €569m worldwide following its release over Valentine's weekend.
The second instalment in the series has been written by James' husband and novelist and screenwriter Niall Leonard.
Stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson will return as billionaire Christian Grey and college graduate Anastasia Steele who is introduced by Grey to the S&M lifestyle.
Foley has previously helmed Glengarry Glen Ross, Fear, At Close Range, and he has also directed several episodes of Netflix series House of Cards.