E.L. James' 2012 novel Fifty Shades of Grey was a massive success, topping best-seller lists and becoming a cultural phenomenon, as readers invested in the relationship between Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. Universal Pictures recognized the success of James' novel and the other two installments in her trilogy - Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed - and adapted Fifty Shades of Grey to the big screen in 2015. While the first Fifty Shades film was a resounding commercial success, earning $571 million worldwide on a budget of $40 million, the movie directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson was critically maligned - and received a lukewarm reception from non-diehard fans.
Perhaps the biggest criticism of Fifty Shades of Grey from those casual viewers was the movie's constraint to the author's source material. James herself was more involved in the production of Fifty Shades of Grey than is normal of most authors when a book is being adapted. For Fifty Shades Darker, Universal seemed to double down on James' involvement, tapping her husband Niall Leonard to pen the script while the author stayed on as a producer. Now, a new promo for Fifty Shades Darker teases the titular more foreboding aspects of the sequel.
Universal debuted the new TV spot for Fifty Shades Darker (above), which at first features Ana (Dakota Johnson) and Christian (Jamie Dornan) reunited following their breakup at the end of Fifty Shades of Grey - and showcases how Ana has somewhat more control in their dynamic, since she reaches for and pays a check on one of their dates. However, the promo takes a dark turn when Ana sees a girl stalking her and Christian, with the final shot depicting Christian walking in on Ana holding a gun. The TV spot also features the first single from the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack, "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" by Zayn and Taylor Swift.
As fans of the books know, Fifty Shades Darker sees Ana and Christian reunited, but with the two having resolved the issues in their relationship as established in Fifty Shades of Grey, they're confronted by outside problems. Namely, Christian's past - both in the form of the girl Ana sees stalking her as well as the woman who introduced Christian to his BDSM lifestyle, Elena Lincoln (Kim Basinger). However, there is Ana's new boss Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson) to contend with, who fans will notice makes a brief masked appearance in this TV spot.
Based on this new promo in addition to the first trailer for Fifty Shades Darker, it appears the followup to Fifty Shades of Grey is sticking incredibly close to James' original novel. Although there's already plenty of buzz surrounding the Fifty Shades sequel, thanks in part to the first trailer setting a new record at the time of its release, it remains to be seen whether Darker adhering more closely to the source material will help or hurt the film with general audiences. Of course, fans and moviegoers alike won't need to wait much longer to see Fifty Shades Darker for themselves, since the film arrives next month - just in time for Valentine's Day.
Source: Universal Pictures
- Fifty Shades Darker (2017) release date: Feb 10, 2017