'Fifty Shades of Grey' Director Sam Taylor-Johnson Won't Direct Sequel

Sam Taylor-Johnson - P 2015
AP Images/Invision

Sam Taylor-Johnson - P 2015

She is leaving the franchise after having clashed with the book's author EL James, who was not mentioned in the director's statement.

Sam Taylor-Johnson, who directed Fifty Shades of Grey, is not returning to direct the movie's sequel.

"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," she said in a statement released today. She said of the hit movie starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, "Directing Fifty Shades of Grey has been an intense and incredible journey for which I am hugely grateful. I have Universal to thank for that. I forged close and lasting relationships with the cast, producers and crew and most especially, with Dakota and Jamie."

The sadomasochistic love story, released by Universal, opened to $85 million in North America, and has since gone on to $558.6 million worldwide. But while it's proven a huge success, the production was also dogged by accounts of clashes between Taylor-Johnson and the book's author EL James over control of the project's direction.

With the movie's screenwriter Kelly Marcel not expected to write the sequel, the franchise's producers will be looking to assemble a new creative team for the follow-up film, which does not yet have a release date.