Rumors regarding the possible exit of star Jamie Dornan from the 50 Shades of Grey franchise have quieted in the wake of reports that Dornan is absolutely “committed” to the role. What does seem to be true, however, is that the Irish actor and the production team behind the kinky movie want the author of the book, E.L. James, to lighten up and loosen the creative stranglehold she currently has on the franchise.
Early reports suggested that Dornan, 32, wanted to bow out of future 50 Shades of Grey movies due to the negative effect his new status as a global sex symbol was having on his wife, Amelia Warner, and their daughter, Dulcie, 15 months. According to the Mirror, Warner was unhappy with the explicit sex scenes between her husband and co-star, Dakota Johnson, as well as the large number of female fans the movie was creating. The website also reported that Dornan was dismayed by the negative reviews the movie was garnering, which made him reluctant to do another. Entertainmentwise is reporting that a source told them that just the opposite is true, and that both Dornan and Johnson remain “committed to the project because of the benefits to the family.”
Entertainmentwise is reporting that, according to an insider, any hesitation on the part of Dornan to reprise his role in 50 Shades of Grey was due to troubles with James. Some believe the original reports of Dornan’s possible exit from the series of movies were nothing but a veiled statement to James that if she failed to “loosen her grip” on the production and learn to play nice with the movie’s director, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Dornan would not return. Reports of fighting between James and Taylor-Johnson were commonplace during production of the movie.
While speaking about the departure of the first actor slated to play the role of billionaire Christian Grey, Charlie Hunnam, Taylor-Johnson recently suggested that Dornan was under contract to play the bondage-loving Grey in all three of the 50 Shades movies. The director said that she and Hunnam had been “working well together,” but allowed that “signing up for one film is very different from signing up for a trilogy.”
A representative for Dornan has denied the reports that the actor would not reprise his role in the second and third movies in the erotic series. According to the representative, the movie studio, Universal Pictures, has not decided yet whether one sequel, let alone two, will even be made, meaning that “all press reports are pure conjecture.”
Australian publication NW claims that Dornan was also hesitant to reprise his role as Christian Grey because of lackluster chemistry with Johnson, who “gave him nothing to work with.” Dornan believes, according to the magazine, that the negative reviews of his lukewarm and cold performance as well as criticism of the movie itself as tame and timid are the fault of his co-star.
Despite the lukewarm reviews and reported infighting, the rabid fan base of the 50 Shades of Grey book trilogy has made the movie a box-office success. Since its widespread theatrical release on Feb. 13, 2015, the film has earned over $486 million.
By Jennifer Pfalz
Image by RTP – Flickr License