The Fifty Shades of Grey sequel has a screenwriter – author EL James’s husband, Niall Leonard.
The British television writer – who has worked on series including Wild at Heart and Monarch of the Glen – will pen the script, taking over from Kelly Marcel (Saving Mr Banks) who wrote the first film, which topped box offices across the globe.
Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan will reprise their roles as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey for the sequel but Sam Taylor-Wood has already announced her intention to bow out of the franchise. The director had spoken publicly about her clashes with James who maintained a degree of creative control over the big screen adaptation.
There had been rumours that the author herself would write the script for Fifty Shades Darker, the second novel in her racy trilogy, but producer Michael De Luca has since confirmed Leonard’s appointment in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Niall is an outstanding writer in his own right, with multiple established credits, and we are lucky to have him join Team Fifty.”
Leonard is believed to have had uncredited input on the script for the first Fifty Shades film and, in addition to his screenwriting work, has authored the Crusher book series.
However, further details of the eagerly-anticipated sequel remain scant with no news yet on who will take over directing duties, when production will begin, or when fans can expect to see the second film in cinemas.