E.L. James's Husband Is Writing The 'Fifty Shades' Sequel, But Here Are 6 Women Who Could Have Taken The Job

Whether or not you consider yourself a fan of the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise — books or movie — one thing is very clear: it's taken over the world. Every living, breathing human being in every corner of the world knows about it, and it's become a massive success. And, while the first installment of the movie trilogy didn't go over too well with critics, fans loved it enough that Hollywood is ready to trudge forward with part two. In fact, they're shaking things up in an effort to make it even better (or just different, I don't know). The first big change? Fifty Shades author E.L. James has enlisted her husband to write the sequel. Huh. Interesting.

James' husband, Niall Leonard, does have several writing credits to his name, it seems. However, Monarch of the Glen and Ballykissangel — two of the major TV series he's written for — don't particularly scream bondage and sexual manipulation to me. That's not to say that writers must always write the same things. In fact, the mark of a good writer is that s/he can pen a variety of stories spanning different times and places and featuring a multitude of complex characters. For some reason, however, I feel skeptical about this move. I'd have hoped that when James was ready to pass the torch, it might be to another female writer, and more particularly, a female writer with some semblance of feminist identity.

Leonard may be penning the second Fifty Shades of Grey movie, but here are six writers I wish were taking over instead.

Angelina Jolie


Hear me out on this one. Jolie has already written two movies — the critically acclaimed In the Land of Blood and Honey and the upcoming By the Sea — and, considering how open and honest she's been in the past about sex, not to mention her status as a major female sex symbol and pretty staunch feminist, I can't think of a movie I'd rather see than a Jolie-penned Fifty Shades. You with me?

Sofia Coppola


Writing what amounts to softcore porn wouldn't be completely new territory for Sofia Coppola, as she's already proven that she can handle sex and relationships in really intelligent ways in movies like Lost In Translation and The Virgin Suicides. I feel like she could bring out a little personality in Anastasia and make her more relatable.

Emma Thompson


I know what you're thinking: Emma Thompson writes? Hell yeah, she does. She received writing credits on an awesome 12 projects, including Nanny McPhee and its sequel, which I'll admit has little to do with bondage but everything to do with awesomeness. Having Thompson at the helm of Fifty Shades would be amazing for a variety of reasons, not least of which because she's lived and loved and could bring her experience and authenticity to the project. Plus, I basically want Emma Thompson to do everything ever.

Callie Khouri

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Chances are, you may be unfamiliar with Callie Khouri by name, but you'll know her by her work. She's the writer behind Thelma and Louise, so I should basically just end this sentence there since it's proof enough of her chops. She also wrote The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and is now a staff writer on Nashville. Give her Fifty Shades! I demand it!

Diablo Cody


Can you think of what would be more awesome than having Diablo Cody — writer of the likes of Juno, Young Adult and Jennifer's Body — taking over the script for Fifty Shades? Just imagine what an amazing makeover the franchise would get. I'm almost a little too in love with this idea, so I'd better stop myself before I get too carried away.

Lisa Cholodenko


Can't place Lisa Cholodenko but know the name? She's the writer behind High Art — potentially one of the most erotic movies ever — and the amazing 2010 film The Kids Are All Right, starring Julianne Moore. (No reason to mention Moore except that she's amazing and I never miss an opportunity.) Cholodenko's got the chops and could take over the Fifty Shades franchise with ease.

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