Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Screenwriter Niall Leonard Talks About 'Fifty Shades Darker'
Universal had granted Erika control of the project when it bought the rights in 2012. “Through sheer force of will, she got them to stick to the original story,” says Leonard. “It’s down to her and nobody else that this thing made half a billion dollars worldwide.”
Leonard helped make script changes to Fifty Shades of Grey, although he is not credited in the film. He prefers it that way. “The donkey work was done by [screenwriter] Kelly Marcel. It’s her credit — she should get all of it.” Now he is writing Fifty Shades Darker, does he expect accusations of nepotism? “Of course I’m going to get detractors. But nobody has to read the book, nobody is forcing you into the cinema at gunpoint. The fact this book exists doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to read Charles Dickens or Peter Carey.”
He was working on an “80% finished” historical crime novel but “it’s hard to be a novelist when you live with EL James. Anything I do will look like a gnat bite; she’s such a worldwide phenomenon”.
At least he and lead actor Jamie Dornan have brought a Northern Irish twinkle to the franchise. “Northern Ireland is sexy again,” he says. “People understand our accents. We’ve had our teeth fixed.” As if on cue, a young couple at a nearby table ask him for a selfie. “My first fan photo,” he says sheepishly afterwards. “My first one without Erika.”
Read full interview at Nialls Nation via @JamieDornanLdn