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This weekend brings with it the debut of Fifty Shades Freed, the climax of the worldwide phenomenon. The cinematic adaptations of the best-selling novels by author E.L. James have grossed almost a billion dollars worldwide and Fifty Shades Freed is poised to win its opening weekend. While Fifty Shades Freed is ostensibly the trilogy-capper, as with any popular franchise, there are always questions about a potential continuation as well as future installments. But it seems that if there is to be another Fifty Shades movie, it will be without star Jamie Dornan. When discussing the possibility of more films after Fifty Shades Freed, the actor had this to say:
Man, have two actors ever seemed less turned on to be a part of a successful franchise than Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan? It sounds like Jamie Dornan is done with Fifty Shades regardless and is happy to be moving on. Apparently wearing 'wee-bags' and filming awkward sex scenes is not something he wants to make a career out of. The actor also makes a good point here on Lorraine that there are no other books. Should the franchise continue, E.L. James would have to write more books. Or, depending on the rights and the author's protectiveness, scripts would need to be commissioned to force this franchise to continue.
E.L. James has already released two other books in a planned trilogy that are sort of the other half of the Fifty Shades books. These novels, titled Grey and Darker are the same stories as the first two Fifty Shades books, just told from Christian Grey's perspective instead of Ana's. The reason this can work as a book series and not as a film is because of the differences in the mediums. The Fifty Shades novels that became a phenomenon were written from Anastasia Steele's perspective and words on a page are only telling the reader what the author wants them to know. So it is possible to write the other half of a story from a different character's perspective and have the story seem fresh. But the films allow us to see the interactions between the lovers more objectively and thus there is no need for a Christian focused series because we've more or less already seen it.
While Jamie Dornan and presumably Dakota Johnson are done with the Fifty Shades films, I wouldn't close the book on the franchise just yet. Despite diminishing box office returns these films still make plenty of money and despite the critical lambasting they receive there is clearly an appetite for these types of stories. I could totally see E.L. James writing more books with new characters and Fifty Shades becoming something of an anthology of softcore fantasies. Or who knows, with Fifty Shades Freed incorporating action and thriller elements, maybe this franchise will turn into erotic, globe-trotting adventure films. The possibilities are endless.
Fifty Shades Freed hits theaters February 9th. For all of this year's biggest films check out our release guide.