Jamie Dornan wants E.L. James to ‘loosen her grip’ on the ‘FSOG’ sequels

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As soon as Fifty Shades of Grey was a certified hit film, the rumors began about Jamie Dornan wanting no part of any sequel. It was said his wife, Amelia Warner, was not happy with the Christian Grey character and she doesn’t want other women drooling over her husband. It was said that Jamie was unhappy with the way Fifty Shades turned out. It was said that Jamie was loyal only to Sam Taylor Johnson, and if Sam was leaving, so was he. In the end, Jamie has a contract for two more films, so he had to suck it up (through his rep) and state unequivocally that he would return for the sequel, if that sequel was happening. So what was it really all about? Was it just some random tabloid speculation? Or was it some larger plot to take power away from E.L. James?

Jamie Dornan reportedly quit Fifty Shades Of Grey and refused to appear in any further films in the franchise on the request of his wife, Amelia. However the hunky actor, who branded the previous rumours “conjecture”, is now said to be “committed” to the project alongside his co-star Dakota Johnson.

A source told the Daily Mirror: “It’s quite the opposite and they (Jamie and Dakota) are both committed to the project because of the benefits to the family.”

An insider also informed The Sunday Times: “Jamie has made it known that doubts could be in place if Sam Taylor-Johnson [director] exits, but it’s just a ploy designed to put pressure on James and push her to loosen her grip. The truth is that Jamie plans to do all three, and very much with the backing of his family.”

[From Express]

My take: Sam is definitely leaving. She’s getting all kinds of offers and I think she won a lot of respect from the studio for the way she handled a difficult situation with EL James. I also think Jamie and Dakota have to honor their contracts no matter what, but they will both be willing to play hardball with the studio about EL James’ control over the future of the franchise.

Meanwhile, Jamie has just signed on to a new film! He’s taken a part in Anthropoid, a true story set during World War II about a Czech soldier involved in a plot to assassinate SS officer Reinhard Heydrich. Cillian Murphy will also star. Well… at least Jamie is getting more opportunities to prove himself after his kind of awful reviews for Fifty Shades.

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Photos courtesy of WENN, Fame/Flynet.

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31 Responses to “Jamie Dornan wants E.L. James to ‘loosen her grip’ on the ‘FSOG’ sequels”

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  1. Maya says:

    Am I the only one who always reads FSOG as F*CK????

    Sam managed to take a horrible written book and make it into a watchable movie.

    The writer should leave the project completely – she is giving women a bad name with her rude and bitchy behaviour.

    • Solanaceae (Nighty) says:

      I also agree the writer should leave it to the experts, the actual writers… Sam made some sort of miracle…

    • gabe says:

      god this dude is such a whine. Like seriously why didnt they just cast someone else if he literally hates this role so much. I’ve neber seen so many articles about a actor hating the role they’re portray

  2. Chrissy says:

    It seems that EL James has a gargantuan Kanye-size ego but doesn’t she hear that everyone thinks her writing stinks? I think a director should call the shots with regards to a film. Sam Taylor- Johnson, as well as Jamie and Dakota, did the best they could with the ridiculous interference of James in the screenplay decision-making. The studio needsto step in and set her straight. She’s an idiot and, rumour has it, she also wants to direct the next films. SMH If that’s the case, I vote for ending things now.
    Also, congrats the Jamie on the new role. Two Irishmen in one movie, YUM.

    • Linn says:

      People might think that her writing stinks (I certainly do from reading just a couple of chapters) but plenty of them still bought the book and often even the sequels.

      I’m not so sure she’s such an idiot. Unlike most terrible Fan-Fiction writers she managed to turn hers into a goldmine and made sure she has extraorinary influence about the making of those movies.
      Sounds like a pretty business-savvy Person if you ask me.

      And imho it sounds like Jamie Dornan at least equals James when it comes to having a gargantuan Kanye-size ego.

      • Deering says:

        Given that James was once a film executive, I’d wouldn’t be at all surprised if she is aiming to become a filmmaker–or eventually run a studio. Leveraging a bestseller into a movie career isn’t the worst idea ever–though it admittedly didn’t work for Ayn Rand…;)

  3. Estella says:

    All I read was that two gorgeous and intense men (Jamie and Cillian) are going to star together in a future film. Hot diggity dawg!!

    • Applapoom says:

      Yes Irishmen…sigh, something about them.

      I prefer Liam Neeson, Cillian, Gabriel Byrne though

      • Diana B says:

        Ohhhh, Gabriel Byrne! God, that man is hot. Not to take from uber hot Liam of course.

    • mollyrogers says:

      Here’s a plot suggestion for Fifty Shades Darker:

      [The story opens with Christian having recovered from a minor head injury with an Irish accent. ...]

      The rest of the script doesn’t matter. Problem solved.

      • xpreson says:

        Yes Please… if he has that accent on I’ll DEF go and watch the Movie… so sexy that accent, really does it for me..!!!

        Sigh…

  4. Louise177 says:

    There will be a 2nd but I doubt a 3rd movie. The core audience didn’t like the movie, which is the kiss of death for future movies. They are the ones who will repeatedly watch the movie. It’s cheap to make so it was a hit but the boxoffice plummeted after the first weekend.

  5. Belle Epoch says:

    They have a problem. The author wants MORE control, not less. She seems to believe her books sold because they were so well written. Can you IMAGINE her attempt at a script?!

  6. Gracie says:

    Okay, I am confused. Can someone please explain? I had no idea the author had that much power over the studio and the director, etc, Is this normal?

    • Tig says:

      Not an expert by any means- but in a word, no. The studio was so desperate to get rights to the books, so they contractually agreed to give James this level of control/approval. In doing so they set the stage for this scenario-James essentially becoming the script writer and the director???? That is one scary proposition. Just saw where Jamie reportedly got a big pay bump for the sequel–and the new project looks good.

      • Gracie says:

        Erm, that explains why everyone wants to jump ship now. It’s too bad they might not all be able to.

      • Deering says:

        It’s not unheard of. Ayn Rand exercised major control over the movie version of “The Fountainhead” back in the ’40s. Her insistence on fidelity to her tendentious dialogue is one of the many reasons it failed. One feels sorry as hell for Gary Cooper struggling through that mess…

    • Ninks says:

      It’s very uncommon actually. While some authors have some input, once they’ve sold the rights it is usually out of their hands. There are numerous examples of authors being really unhappy with adaptions of their books, and being highly critical of the finished product. In some cases, authors will advise on the scriptwriting process – Suzanne Collins for example workshopped the Hunger Games scripts with the directors and scriptwriters but has no actual say in the final script or anything further. She may have visited set on a few occasions but only as a visitor. I believe that part of the deal James struck when she sold the rights included a lot of power when it came to the films. The books were so incredibly popular that it’s possible the producers gave her whatever she wanted in order to get the movie rights. If so, that’s on them. If they gave her that much power, she has the right to exercise it. Whether she should is an entirely different story.

    • Linn says:

      Certainly not normal but not unheard of either. If the people from the studio wants the rights to make a movie they might give up more power than they want to.

      I think J. K. Rowling had a lot of influence during the making of the Harry Potter Movies as well e. g. demanding that they use only british actors unless the character is foreign.

      • noway says:

        Although not the norm, I don’t think it is that uncommon. In addition to J.K. Rowlings, Anne Rice had control and even wrote the screenplay for Interview with a Vampire. Gillian Flynn wrote the screenplay for Gone Girl. My understanding is Stephanie Meyer had a big say in the casting of the Twilight movies, along with John Greene in Fault in Our Stars. I just think those authors may have been a bit nicer of people to work with.

      • Sof says:

        No, besides not letting the studio ‘americanize’ the first film (they wanted to add cheerleaders to Quidditch games and things like that) JK Rowling had very little influence and a lot of arguments with the directors, particularly with Alfonso Cuaron.

        Maybe James wants the sex scenes to be more explicit, hence the rumors of Jamie leaving?

      • Gracie says:

        Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply. Yes, I think writers of popular series probably get more conditions on their contacts but it’s their choice whether or not to exercise those rights. And this woman’s ego seems to know no bound. Or this is just intentional drama to get butts into cinemas. I somehow have a feeling the movie is not doing as well as they have hoped it to be.

    • ctkat1 says:

      James got final say on everything, which is unusual- she got final casting approval, director approval, final edit, and script approval. So the second film only gets made as long as she approves the director and the script- which is where she has the studio over a barrel, because she is saying that the only script she will approve is one that she writes (hadn’t heard that she wanted to direct it as well, but it’s not surprising).
      Other authors have negotiated different perks/power, but her deal is unheard of. Gillian Flynn wrote the screenplay for “Gone Girl,” but she was open about the fact that it was a collaboration with the director, David Fincher, and she had to rely on him to translate the story to a visual medium. James sees herself as the Protector of the Fans- so she’s unwilling to agree to any changes from the books, since that’s what the fans liked. Whereas we and the critics say that the changes the director and script writer made are what turned a horribly written book into a halfway decent movie, she sees those changes as letting down the fans (and she’s an ego monster).

  7. grabbyhands says:

    Unfortunately, E.L. James seems to be under the delusion that the movie succeeded because of her writing instead of in spite of it. I’m sure the studio is sorely regretting giving her as much say so as they did.

    I can understand his reluctance-his notices were not good for the movie and if they give James any more control, they are going to have a big problem finding another director that can do what Sam Taylor Wood was able to pull off that would be willing to assign their name to this trash. The movie made a bunch of money, but the books are still considered a joke and all the stories of the Twilight mommies going nuts in creep ways at all the movies isn’t going to excite anyone about directing the next movie or two.

    Other than the money, I’m betting he is regretting to signing to all three movies. Although in his defense he probably didn’t have much choice.

    • Beatrice says:

      Agree–EL needs to go home and count her money (and blessings that her poorly written book did so well). Any success came in spite of her writing, not because she produced great literature.

    • ctkat1 says:

      Apparently Charlie Hunnam struggled with having to sign on for three, which is why he ultimately bailed. I think that he met with Sam Taylor-Johnson, felt good about her, auditioned with Dakota Johnson, felt good about her, and then spent a couple of weeks getting a sense of the power EL James had over the film and the tenor of her working relationship with everyone, saw the writing on the wall in terms of this exact situation, and split. Because ultimately he (and Dornan, and Dakota) didn’t sign on for three films with Sam Taylor-Johnson, the scriptwriter, and Universal, they signed on for three films with EL James.

  8. Nhi says:

    So what was E.L. James pulling exactly? I wasn’t paying attention until now :)

  9. Kiddo says:

    If he wants her to loosen her grip, shouldn’t he be using the safe word?

    gouty son ja jiggy jar jar doo

  10. Flahoola says:

    Speaking of Cillian Murphy – I am OBSESSED with Peaky Blinders!