E.L. James’ husband Niall Leonard will adapt the ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ script

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We haven’t discussed the Fifty Shades of Grey sequel in a while. Fifty Shades Darker is still going to be made, of course, because there’s so much money to be made and because the actors have all of those wonderful contracts. But the studio still has to deal with author EL James and the “deal with the devil” situation they have with her, where she has too much control over her “creation,” to the point where no one really wants to work with her. Well, as we assumed, EL James wanted to *blush* adapt the inner-goddess-riddled sequel script herself and the studio was *streaming tears* actually saying no to her inner goddess *ARGH* because Jesus Christ, lady, this is the way you write. So a compromise has been made! EL James’ husband is going to adapt the script.

Niall Leonard, E.L. James’ husband, has been tapped to pen the screenplay for “Fifty Shades Darker,” the sequel to Universal’s “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan are attached to reprise their roles with James, Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca producing.

While this will mark Leonard’s first time working on a major studio film, he has written scripts for British television on such shows as “Wild at Heart” and “Wire in the Blood.” Variety first reported in February that the reason for the delay in naming a screenwriter for the sequel was that James herself wanted to write the screenplay.

While Leonard works on the script, the studio will now look to find a replacement for director Sam Taylor-Johnson, who announced last month she would not be returning. No release date or production start date has been set, though sources close to the project still believe production would most likely start in the first quarter of 2016. The “Fifty Shades of Grey” franchise is a top priority for the studio following the first film’s success at the box office, with more than $567 million worldwide.

[From Variety]

Wire in the Blood is actually a really great, gory British detective series starring Robsen Green and Hermione Norris. It’s actually pretty well-written, and hey, at least this guy has a background in screenwriting. But yes, this is still going to be terrible. Either Niall Leonard is going to be henpecked by EL James into merely adapting HER “vision” of her terrible characters, or they will fight so much that it will end in divorce. Dealer’s choice.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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51 Responses to “E.L. James’ husband Niall Leonard will adapt the ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ script”

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  1. lucy says:

    Well this is going to end well…

  2. Bridget says:

    It will be a modern masterpiece!

  3. meme says:

    Doesn’t that mean she’s really doing it? I hope she directs too and the movie bombs big time. No decent director will want to touch this because she’s a beast to work with.

    • mom2two says:

      I think that is exactly what it means. There is no way she leaves that man alone to write that script, no way. Good luck finding a director of quality and they are going to need serious good luck in having Jamie and Dakota feeling less awkward with each other.

  4. Greata says:

    Write the script?…Direct the movie?….helll this “auteur” would star in the movie if she could.

  5. Val Cherry says:

    Wow, now that’s going to be fun! On screen and off screen!

    Loved Kaiser’s “or they will fight so much that it will end in divorce”. The inner goddess is gonna strike big this time! Good for us, right? The first one was so boring, not even “bad, but funny”, and this one promisses to be the funniest train wrek in a while!

  6. mia girl says:

    Bwahaabwahaaaahaaaahaaa
    BWAHAABWAHAAHAAHAA
    HAHAhaaHAAABWAHAAHAAH
    hahahaha, oh man”
    *wipes tear, catches breath*

    • Mia4S says:

      Yeah pretty much! This is hilarious nepotism (yes I know he has experience…on mid-level British TV). Universal execs must have tattooed the grosses on their arms to stare at and get through the next few years. My guess is they may not even do the traditional split the third book in two! How will the fans cope?!

      The best part is watching these idiots get their asses kissed and then tossed out by Hollywood. Hey whatever happened to whatsherface who wrote Twilight? Exactly.

    • MrsNix says:

      Bam. This. ha ha

  7. Dani2 says:

    LMAO this movie is well and truly f-cked I guess.

  8. PunkyMomma says:

    (Grabs gallon size of popcorn) I’m hoping this turns into one of those movies that’s so, so bad it’s deliciously good.

    • Cankles says:

      Oh god, me too. I want it to be The Room-level terrible. PLEASE let her write the script, direct it, AND produce.

  9. Red32 says:

    Her hubby needs to abandon ship. This is the definition of no-win situation.

    • JSP says:

      agreed….dude needs to get out now. don’t waste more of your life on that bossy cow. take the money and run.

      • belle de jour says:

        His pocket mad money so he may flee? Or maybe his salary will serve as downpayment on a lawyer?

        At any rate, I’d love to be a fly on the wall just one night when they have their first ‘discussion’ over ‘creative differences’ during dinner. Art is suffering, after all.

  10. Tig says:

    I don’t see how it could be anything but James doing the script if her husband is the screenwriter- does she have a cousin lined up to direct? Poor Jamie and Dakota- yes, they did sign contracts, but they did it not knowing they’d be coming to work at a family business! Check out Racing Hearts- Jamie D is good in it, and while the plot has been around forever- the topic was one I was u familiar with (racing pigeons) and found it all pretty interesting.

    • Anne says:

      hopefully the studio has final script approval – is that a thing? that needs to be a thing.

  11. Anname says:

    So her husband is writing the screenplay for her erotic fantasy story about Edward Cullen/Robert Pattinson? That is so very weird.

  12. FingerBinger says:

    EL James has a husband? Who knew!

    • JSP says:

      poor guy….

    • FLORC says:

      Yea, and he was the one who did the edits on 50SOG as she wrote it on her iphone. So… he missed a lot of errors.

      She’s going to henpeck the hell out of this.
      This sequel might not even be hate-watch good. It might just be awful.

  13. TX says:

    I would have paid big $$ to be in on the meeting where they told her “look, youre just awful and everyone hates you. if we must, we’ll deal with your husband instead”

  14. I’ve always wanted to see exactly how something can go from bad to worse, with this we’ll get a play by play!

  15. grabbyhands says:

    Cripes! How does someone who is able to create something as amazing as Wire in the Blood agree to something as awful as a 50 Shades sequel? Yikes.

  16. Dash says:

    Keeping all the cash in the family.

  17. smcollins says:

    I’m in agreement that SHE will be the one actually writing the script and he’s just going to put his name on it. Does the studio not see through this ruse, or do they just not care? Maybe it’s more a case of her husband will be the script doctor, and her name stays off of it? Hell if I know. Actually, now that I think about it, I haven’t even read the books or seen the movie so why do I even care? I need help.

  18. SofiaS says:

    What an odd couple…

  19. renee28 says:

    She has burned every bridge in record time. The studio is probably counting down the days until they can cut her loose.

    • holly hobby says:

      They’re probably wishing the sequel will tank so they don’t have to work with her again.

  20. Paris says:

    Bravo! Just BRAVO!
    How we are going to call 2nd part? Fifty shades of FLOP?

    • megan says:

      Because the first one and all three books were such a FLOP? Made no money, nobody bought the book and went to the movie, right?People will still go to the movie out of curiosity

  21. Betti says:

    She’s p’d off most of Hollywood and the studio and is resorting to this to get her way – someone need to sit down!

  22. Coco says:

    This will be interesting. They may as well let her direct it now too. This is HER movie!!! The leads must be kicking themselves over this contract obligations.

  23. Betti says:

    I also kinda feel for Jamie and Dakota – if she’s soo determined to stick to her book, they will have to suck it up and film those quite graphic scenes. It will turn into soft p)rn gone mainstream.

  24. Mzizkrizten says:

    When they play their own version of 50 shades who do you think is the Dom? I totally think it’s her.

  25. Alexandra says:

    Am I the only one shocked to find out that E.L. James is actually married? Wouldn’t want to be around when she lashes her ‘inner goddess’ on her husband.

  26. Emily says:

    I have no love for 50 Shades, but that dress is amazing.

  27. Ms. Turtle says:

    I know I shouldn’t, but I suddenly feel sorry for Dakota and Jamie. The lines they’ll have to say suddenly got worse. I fear we’ll hear a lot of her inner goddess monologue. Shudder.

  28. Leslie says:

    She has a husband? For real?

  29. EN says:

    I am actually glad. The sequel will be such a disaster the studio won’t make anymore of that trash after that.

  30. I Choose Me says:

    This promises to be a clusterf*ck and I.am.here.for.it. :D

  31. Green Is Good says:

    Epic DISASTER worthy of Irwin Allen.

  32. Veronica says:

    My first thought upon reading the news was, “This is going to end badly for everyone.” I will seriously be impressed if their marriage survives the strain. Mixing work and pleasure never struck me as a good thing.