We finally have confirmed release dates for the next two installments of the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise. As it currently stands, to keep with the Valentine's Day tradition, we won't be getting Fifty Shades Darker until February 10, 2017 while the third installment (presumably titled Fifty Shades Freed) will hit theaters on February 9, 2018.
Universal seems to be taking a huge gamble with these release dates. I say that because you would assume these films would be fast-tracked to keep the attention of the public. Having the sequel two years from the first one is a bit crazy. I assumed they'd at least try and film by the end of this year for 2016 and 2017 releases.
This comes a day after Universal announced that Fifty Shades author EL James' husband, Niall Leonard, has been hired to pen the screenplay for Fifty Shades Darker. This compromise came after James caused the departure of director Sam Taylor-Johnson and writer Kelly Marcel. Now that it has become blatantly obvious that EL James has taken full control of this franchise there is no telling what is going to happen. For all we know the director for Fifty Shades Darker will be James.
Surprisingly, I really enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey but I credit that to Sam Taylor-Johnson. The direction was solid and the cinematography was amazing. With her departure I think it's pretty safe to say that the cinematographer, Seamus McGarvey, won't be returning either. We now have a new writer and will have a new director and most likely a new cinematographer. We still have multiple characters that need to be cast (the big one being "Mrs. Robinson") and the remaining actors from the first film are demanding ridiculously high salaries.
This franchise quickly is turning into even more of a joke than it originally was.
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