"American Sniper" is sooo last week, thanks to the incredible success of "Fifty Shades of Grey" in cinemas both here and abroad last weekend.
The film cleaned up better than Christian Grey after one of his infamous S&M sessions, raking in nearly $100 million in the U.S. during the four day holiday weekend, and a whopping $158 million overseas. (The U.K. and Ireland box office, lumped together, brought in $21.5 million, setting a record for a film rated over 18 there.)
Many of the critics weren’t kind – Irish star Jamie Dornan came in for a lash on more than one occasion, pardon the pun – but this one is bullet-proof so it doesn’t really matter.
So what’s next? There are two more books in the 'Fifty' trilogy that await adaptation to film, and stating the obvious, that’s definitely going to happen.
Dornan and co-star Dakota Johnson are already inked to reprise their roles as Christian and Ana Steele, and they say they’re looking forward to it.
“We’ll see different sides of him, so I’m looking forward to exploring that if given the chance,” Dornan said.
Bet the mortgage that Dornan will be given the chance, even though the studio that owns the rights to 'Fifty,' Universal, has yet to comment on any new production plans.
One key component of the 'Fifty' film whose future is up in the air is director Sam Taylor-Johnson. She continually clashed on set with 'Fifty' author E L James, who was given a huge amount of control by Universal to lure her in.
Taylor-Johnson said in interviews last week that she will be on board to direct going forward, but there are conflicting reports, notably in The Hollywood Reporter, that say her role is far from certain for II and III.
“Insiders say the director — to whom stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan are said to be loyal — likely will not return for a rematch. While Johnson and Dornan are booked for a three-peat, Taylor-Johnson, 47, only signed on for one film. So far, sources say there have been no discussions on her returning,” the magazine reported.
It’ll be a couple of years anyway before 'Fifty' returns for its second round – that one is called "Fifty Shades Darker" – but Dornan’s new found legion of female fans won’t have to wait that long to catch the Holywood, Co. Down native on screen.
He’s got a very popular British-made series on Netflix called "The Fall," and on Monday the streaming service very smartly announced that they acquired another upcoming Dornan property, a war thriller called "Jadotville," that goes into production April and will air on Netflix next year.
USA Today says the film the film is based on the 1961 siege of Jadotville, in which an outnumbered Irish U.N. battalion came under attack by 3,000 Congolese troops. Dornan stars as Patrick Quinlan, leader of the Irish company.
"The story of how Pat Quinlan led his troops against an overwhelming force without losing a single man is one of the great stories of the 20th century, and we are proud to be working with such a talented and committed team to bring it to life," said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos in a statement.