50 Shades of Grey dominated the box office last week, banking about $81.7 million within a few days of its release. Despite this, director Sam Taylor-Johnson is reportedly calling quits on the yet-to-be-greenlighted two sequels (50 Shades Darker and 50 Shades Freed) due to her “toxic” relationship with E.L. James, the author of the book trilogy. A source told The Sun, “Sam won’t be back for the Fifty Shades sequels. She wants out and Universal knows that’s the right decision. Her relationship with Erika has become absolutely toxic – they despise each other and blame each other for the problems with the film.”
Taylor-Johnson admitted in Vanity Fair that she and James clashed over creative control during filming 50 Shades of Grey. Arguments ranged from keeping faithful to the book to James setting some guidelines for the costume department and having the final say in casting and script.
Unlike most authors who have little say in the filming process, James had an unusual control over the adaptation, making it “difficult” for Taylor-Johnson to bring in her own ideas. However, they “made it work” in the end. Universal Studios have yet to confirm Taylor-Johnson’s leave.