During their presentation at CinemaCon on Thursday afternoon, Universal announced release dates for three major projects.
Update (9:00 p.m. eastern): The first teaser photo from Fifty Shades Darker has been released, depicting Christian wearing the mask seen on the book’s cover. A video version of the Fifty Shades Darker tease will be available on the Fifty Shades of Grey Blu-ray next month:
Original story: On the book-to-film adaptation side of their slate, Universal revealed the Fifty Shades of Grey sequel Fifty Shades Darker will be opening in theaters February 10, 2017. The third installment, Fifty Shades Freed, will open one year later on February 9, 2018. The studio opted to go with the Valentine’s Day weekend release like they did for the first Fifty Shades film earlier this year. Unfortunately, fans will be waiting a full two years in between movies one and two.
Luckily, there are no plans to split the final Fifty Shades book like other studios have done with their book-to-film adaptations. If the films continue to produce big box offices, however, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Universal talk author E.L. James into creating more stories for their franchise.
Just yesterday we learned Fifty Shades Darker will be scripted by James’ husband Niall Leonard. While stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson are signed on to return, the studio will be searching for a new director because Fifty Shades of Grey helmer Sam Taylor-Johnson already announced she’s not coming back.
Universal also announced today the eighth installment in the Fast & Furious franchise. Fast & Furious 8 will hit theaters April 14, 2017. The news wasn’t too surprising given Furious 7’s massive box office this month (currently standing at $300 million domestically, $1.158 billion worldwide since its April 3 release).