‘House Of Cards’ director James Foley is ‘frontrunner’ to direct ‘Fifty Shades’ sequel

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson are both returning for 'Fifty Shades Darker', due in February 2017

Veteran director James Foley is reportedly now “frontrunner” to direct the first sequel to Fifty Shades Of Grey.

The original Fifty Shades Of Grey film starring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson opened on February 13 this year (2015) and has now grossed over $568 million (£375 million) at the global box office despite receiving generally negative reviews. It was directed by Nowhere Boy‘s Sam Taylor-Johnson, who has previously announced that she won’t be returning to direct the sequels.

Fifty Shades Darker, based on the second novel in E.L. James’ erotic trilogy, is set to open in cinemas on February 10, 2017. Fifty Shades Freed, based on James’ third novel, will follow on February 9, 2018. Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson are both confirmed to be returning for the sequels, which are being made by Universal Pictures.

In April it was announced that the screenplay for Fifty Shades Darker is being written by Niall Leonard, husband of EL James and an experienced TV screenwriter, and now TheWrap reports that Foley is in line to direct the sequel. Universal Pictures is said to be considering the possibility of shooting Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed back-to-back, though it is unknown whether Foley would direct both films.

Foley’s previous big screen directing credits include 1987’s Who’s That Girl starring Madonna and 1992’s Glengarry Glen Ross with Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon and Alec Baldwin. More recently, he has directed episodes of TV’s Hannibal and Wayward Pines, as well as several episodes of Netflix’s House Of Cards. One of the producers of House Of Cards, Dana Brunetti, also serves as a producer on the Fifty Shades trilogy.