In a not at all surprising move, Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson has decided against working on the sequel among reports of her clashing with Fifty Shades writer E.L. James. Here's what Taylor-Johnson told Deadline:
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. 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.
Even if everything went swimmingly behind the scenes of the first film, this isn't terribly unexpected. Big franchises that aren't the product of an auteur's vision rarely keep the same director for all of the films, because it's such an enormous commitment. With E.L. James taking on more control over the sequels, Taylor-Johnson should totally go do her own thing and see her own vision through elsewhere. For better or worse (worse, probably), the Fifty Shades franchise belongs to E.L. James.