Sam Taylor Johnson set to pull out of directing Fifty Shades of Grey sequels
Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor Johnson is reportedly set to pull out of directing the two planned sequels due to clashes with the book's author EL James.
The British director, who previously helmed 2009's critically successful Nowhere Boy, has signed up to helm the sequels to the erotic romance but is now said to want to pass on the projects.
Whist the film has garnered mostly negative reviews, its combined gross for the UK and Ireland was £14.3m (€19.2m) in its opening weekend and in the US the film bagged the biggest ever Presidents Day/Valentine's opening weekend, grossing $81.7m (€71.6m).;
However, both Taylor Wood and James (whose real name is Erica Mitchell) have been vocal about disharmony behind the scenes.
Speaking to The Sun, a senior film insider reportedly said, “Sam won’t be back for the Fifty Shades sequels. She wants out and Universal knows that’s the right decision.
“Her relationship with Erika has become absolutely toxic – they despise each other and blame each other for the problems with the film.”
The source revealed that the arguments revolved mainly around sex scenes. EJ James wanted them to reflect the novel, whilst Taylor Wood wanted to tone them down so they didn't dominate the story.
It is not usually teh case that an author would have such control, but James signed a £3 deal to bring the books to the big screen and had significant creative control so she was a constant presence on set.
Speaking to Porter magazine, Sam said, “It was difficult I’m not going to lie. We definitely fought but they were creative fights and we would resolve them.
“We would have proper on-set barneys, and I’m not confrontational, but it was about finding a way between the two of us, satisfying her vision of what she’d written as well as my need to visualise this person on screen but, you know we got there.”
Speaking at the premiere in Berlin last week, EL James told Digital Spy, "It was hard in places. But any creative process they're going to have disagreements between all sorts of people but we got there in the end and I think the fans will be really pleased."