'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Sequel's New Screenwriter Is Someone Very, Very Close To Production & It's Not E.L. James
You know the old saying, "the couple that adapts each other's work together stays together?" Apparently that's the one that Fifty Shades Of Grey author E.L. James is living by: According to Deadline, E.L. James' husband Niall Leonard will write Fifty Shades Of Grey 's sequel film. The sequel, which will be adapted from James' novel Fifty Shades Darker, will no doubt be a huge success — just look at all of the records that the first Fifty Shades Of Grey flick broke at the box office — and it also seems like it'll be based on James' vision. After all, rumor has it that Sam Taylor-Johnson, the director of the first film, allegedly left the franchise due to creative conflicts with James, so with Leonard now helming the script, it seems that the creative control will once again be in the novelist's hands — or at least in the hands of someone she's married to. Now the only question is: Who exactly is Niall Leonard?
Luckily for Fifty Shades Of Grey fans, this isn't Leonard's first rodeo — Leonard has worked as a screenwriter since the early '90s, mostly within the medium of television. He's written episodes of series like Silent Witness, Wild At Heart, and Monarch Of The Glen, and penned the screenplay for TV movie Horatio Hornblower 3 and Second Sight: Kingdom Of The Blind, starring Clive Owen. He's also a novelist like his wife, and penned the Crusher trilogy. Sure, he hasn't exactly written any movies based on former Twilight fanfiction, but he's definitely more than just James' husband.
Of course, there are some creative advantages to being a part of James' life. According to Leonard's essay for The Guardian , he helped James pen her very first pieces of the fanfiction — the ones that would score her a book deal for Fifty Shades Of Grey. As Leonard writes:
We'd sworn we'd never work together in TV — as a producer she would have fired me that day I was directing The Bill and ran over by 30 minutes — but one evening a week we'd sit down together at her laptop and go through her latest installment, and somehow we managed that for 18 months without killing each other... Whenever Erika encountered a story problem, she'd describe it, and I — being a bloke — would come up with a simple solution that was clear, elegant and always so utterly wrong she'd immediately devise her own. I don't think she once followed a suggestion of mine.
The last line is probably why James is so keen to have her husband behind the screenplay this time around. Not only does she know that he's an excellent collaborator, but she also knows that he's perfectly OK protecting her creative vision because, well, it's not his. This could be an arrangement that works very well for James.
As for movie goers, well... as long as we see Jamie Dornan's torso, I think we'll all be OK.