E.L. James’ Husband to Write ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ Screenplay

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E.L. James wants her husband to take over control.

Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Niall Leonard, hubby of the Fifty Shades of Grey author, is assuming the dominant role as screenwriter for film’s sequel, Fifty Shades Darker.

Producer Michael De Luca enthusiastically confirmed Leonard’s hand in the project:

“Niall is an outstanding writer in his own right, with multiple established credits, and we are lucky to have him join Team Fifty.”

This position switch comes after the director and screenwriter of the first installment of the franchise announced their exit from the new project in March.

“Directing Fifty Shades of Grey has been an intense and incredible journey for which I am hugely grateful …While I will not be returning to direct the sequels, I wish nothing but success to whosoever takes on the exciting challenges of films two and three.”

With new wiggle room in Darker’s budget, Fifty Shades stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson are in negotiations for a major salary boost after raking in some $568.8 million worldwide on the first film.

Leonard comes well-qualified for the job as the writer of British television series such as Monarch of the Glen, and as an uncredited pen on the first Fifty Shades of Grey screenplay.

Fifty Shade Darker is set to begin production in early 2016.