BUSINESS

Dates announced for two '50 Shades' sequels; husband of E L James to pen script for first one

04/23/2015 09:58 EDT | Updated 07/21/2015 05:59 EDT
NEW YORK, N.Y. - "Fifty Shades of Grey" stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan will reprise their roles in the sequels "Fifty Shades Darker" and "Fifty Shades Freed" on Valentine's weekends in 2017 and 2018 respectively, Universal Pictures announced Thursday.

The studio said the release dates would be Feb. 10, 2017, and Feb. 9, 2018. It also confirmed that the script for "Darker" will be written by the husband of series author E L James, Niall Leonard, who is also a published author.

The first "50 Shades" film opened this year on Valentine's Day weekend and became one of the biggest R-rated openings ever. It has grossed $569 million worldwide.

Kelly Marcel penned the original adaptation but isn't returning. Also not returning is director Sam Taylor-Johnson, whose disputes with James were well-known.