The stress of bringing a best-selling book to the big screen is already intense, but add an author who’s overzealously protective about their work and you have a recipe for conflict. There was no shortage of battles during the production of “Fifty Shades Of Grey,” with director Sam Taylor-Johnson admitting she got into “proper on-set barneys” with writer E.L. James. And screenwriter Kelly Marcel noted that the studio’s promise that she’d have creative flexibility were “utter bullshit,” adding that, “ultimately, Erika did have all of the control.” So, it’s not a big surprise that Taylor-Johnson has washed her hands of the erotica franchise.
In a new interview with the Sunday Times of London (via Vulture), the filmmaker made it clear that she’s not going to fire up “Fifty Shades Darker” on Netflix or go see “Fifty Shades Freed” in cinemas. “I’m not going to ever watch them. I have literally zero interest,” she said.
As for the battles behind-the-scenes, Taylor-Johnson finds it strange that she could never gel with the ‘Fifty Shades’ author. “It was a struggle and there were lots of onset tête-à-têtes, with me trying to bat it into the [right] place,” she said, adding, “I like everyone – and I get really confused when they don’t like me. I was so confused by E.L. James. I don’t understand when I can’t navigate a person, when there’s no synergy.”
Reflecting on the film, Taylor-Johnson makes it clear she gained very little out of making “Fifty Shades Of Grey,” and wouldn’t embark on it again. “With the benefit of hindsight would I go through it again? Of course I wouldn’t. I’d be mad,” she said, though she stopped short of saying she regrets it because “that would just finish me off.”
Taylor-Johnson’s next project, the Netflix series “Gypsy” starring Naomi Watts, debuts on June 30th.