The Fifty Shades movie franchise returns to theaters this year with Fifty Shades Darker, the next chapter in the relationship between Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and her billionaire-with-a-dark-side boyfriend, Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). Fifty Shades Darker is based on the novel of the same name by Fifty Shades book trilogy author E.L. James and was scripted for the big screen by James' husband Niall Leonard, with James Foley (who has also directed episodes for House of Cards, Wayward Pines and Billions in recent years) taking over as helmsman from Fifty Shades of Grey director, Sam Taylor-Johnson.
Fifty Shades Darker has long been described as more of a psychological thriller than its predecessor (by those who are involved creatively with the production) and trailers for the Fifty Shades of Grey sequel have confirmed as much, by emphasizing how Anastasia and Christian's rekindled love affair is disrupted when Christian's past comes back to haunt them. That also goes for a newly-released extended preview for the movie - one that debuted on TV during the 2017 premiere of The Bachelor, as it were.
This extended Fifty Shades Darker trailer dives a bit deeper into the film's plot than its predecessors have, showing how Anastasia and Christian have restarted their relationship; the former now being on more even ground with her troubled boyfriend. However, as the newest preview for the film confirms, Anastasia isn't just imagining things when she keeps seeing a mysterious woman stalking the couple seemingly wherever they go. Moreover, Christian's efforts to "reform" himself are further disrupted when Elena Lincoln (Kim Basinger), Christian's most infamous ex-lover, re-enters his life.
The Fifty Shades Darker film's supporting cast includes such returning Fifty Shades of Grey players as Jennifer Ehle (Anastasia's mother, Carla) and Eloise Mumford (Kate, Anastasia's roommate/best friend), but adds a number of new franchise cast members to the mix too. In addition to Basinger, the new additions in the Fifty Shades sequel include Tyler Hoechlin (Everybody Wants Some!!) as Boyce Fox, Bella Heathcoate (The Neon Demon) as Leila Williams and Eric Johnson (The Knick) as Jack Hyde, Ana's new boss and Christian's would-be competitor for her affections.
With James' appearing to have more creative control over the Fifty Shades sequel than she did on the first installment, it seems safe to assume that Fifty Shades Darker won't offer much (if anything) for those moviegoers who are not fans of either the author's original erotic-Twilight-fan-fiction-turned best-selling book series and/or the Fifty Shades of Grey movie adaptation. That probably won't be a problem for Universal Pictures either, as the studio produced the first Fifty Shades for $40 million and it grossed $571 million in theaters worldwide. Even if Fifty Shades Darker sees a significant drop-off in box office by comparison, it should still easily turn a profit and justify Universal having already green-lit the third installment, Fifty Shades Freed, for release in 2018.
Source: Universal Pictures
- Fifty Shades Darker (2017) release date: Feb 10, 2017