After rumours of some serious rows on set between director Sam Taylor-Johnson and author E.L. James, just about everyone was expecting the filmmaker not to return for either of the Fifty Shades Of Grey sequels.

Between frustrations caused by James’ creative control over the franchise and her desire to write the sequel (not the best idea based on the quality of the books), you can understand why Taylor-Johnson isn’t returning.

“Directing Fifty Shades of Grey has been an intense and incredible journey for which I am hugely grateful,” the director says. “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.”

The hunt for a new director will now begin, while Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson are set to reprise their respective roles as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele (though both are looking for a pay raise next time).

Fifty Shades of Grey has grossed over $500 million worldwide, and while it received a mixed response from critics, you have to imagine that the door is now open for Taylor-Johnson to do anything she pleases! Writer Kelly Marcel also won’t be returning, so it’s possible James will get her wish and will write the follow-up.