The movie adaptation of Fifty Shades Of Grey might have made a lot of money at box offices over the 2015 Valentine’s Day weekend, but the process was fraught with difficulty according to the director.
Sam Taylor-Johnson’s film became the second-highest grossing live-action movie from a woman directing, but despite the success she did not return to the series for the following installments.
Taylor-Johnson revealed to the Hollywood Reporter that she constantly argued with series creator E.L. James on the set of the film, causing her to be abandoned for the sequels.
The director said she and James had “two different creative visions,” made worse for the filmmaking process because the author negotiated creative control with Universal.
“Her vision versus mine, and they were polar opposite,” Taylor-Johnson elaborated. “Every scene was fought over. It was tough. It was like wading uphill through sticky tar. Her thing was, ‘This is what the fans expect.’ I'd be like, ‘Well, let's try and hit those marks but create a new universe at the same time.’”
Though the film was a success (at the box office — the movie was critically panned), the plagued production didn’t result in any immediate job offers for other films. Taylor-Johnson called the experience “ego-denting.”
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“There was a tentative plan that I would be involved with the following two,” Taylor-Johnson said. “[But the studio] wanted to see how the first one went before any discussion. It went well in terms of box office. But less well with my relationship with [E.L. James].”
The director was mentioned to be in the running to direct the Brie Larson-starring Captain Marvel, but she was so affected by the experience on Fifty Shades that she didn’t even pay attention to the rumors. She’s also married into the Marvel family as the spouse of Avengers: Age Of Ultron actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who played Quicksilver.
But now she’s back with a new series on Netflix, the Naomi Watts-starring Gypsy premiering June 30. While she won’t be directing future installments in the Fifty Shades series, that seems to be for the best.