Earlier this year the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey finally arrived in theaters, raking in enormous amounts of cash and becoming an even bigger cultural powerhouse in the process. Given that there's two more books in EL James' trilogy ready for adaptation it wasn't so much question of if there would be more movies as much as when. Today in Las Vegas, Universal delivered that answer.
Sticking to Valentine's Day
Variety reports that the studio announced at the annual CinemaCon convention that Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed — which continue the story of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey — are scheduled to debut on February 10th, 2017 and February 9th, 2018, respectively. The original film was released on February 13th, so given the success the studio is clearly sticking to the Valentine's Day release plans. However, despite the success of the first Fifty Shades film the cinematic creative team is being reshuffled. Director Sam Taylor-Johnson will not be returning for the second and third installments — she and James reportedly had creative disagreements during the editing process — and screenwriter Kelly Marcel isn't returning either. James had wanted to write the script for the sequel herself, but according to The Hollywood Reporter her husband Niall Leonard will be tackling it instead.
To get the hype train moving as fast as possible, Universal is also going to be including a brief teaser for Fifty Shades Darker on the upcoming DVD and Blu-ray of Fifty Shades. Not that there's much to show off just yet, of course — but maybe Christian Grey in a mask will do the trick, nonetheless.
9:34PM: Updated with information about Blu-ray teaser.