As we endured a lonely Valentine's Day without a new Fifty Shades movie, we can at least take comfort in the knowledge that the sequels will be forthcoming next year and the year after. The sequels will be shot back to back under the direction of James Foley.
Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan (top, left) will return as Anastasia Steele and Christian Gray, respectively. Casting is well underway for new characters in Fifty Shades Darker, led by Kim Basinger, who will portray Elena Lincoln, a former lover of Christian's who introduced him to the world of BDSM. Next came news that Bella Heathcote would be joining the cast as another one of Christian's former lovers and that Arielle Kebbel would play Gia Matteo, an architect Christian hires to design a new home, though her character won't appear until the third film, Fifty Shades Freed.
Now comes word via Variety that Eric Johnson (top, right) has been hired to appear in both sequels as Jack Hyde, an editor at a publishing house. Ana has been hired as Jack's new assistant and then must ward off his romantic overtures toward her while seeking to rebuild her relationship with Christian.
In the books, the character is less a romantic rival for Ana's affections as he is a creepy, potentially dangerous dude. Johnson plays an ambitious, angry surgeon in TV's The Knick, so it's easy to imagine him as Jack Hyde.
For those who saw Fifty Shades of Grey and wondered whether Ana and Christian would end up together in the sequels, Dakota Johnson has stated for the record that she would like to see more of Jamie Dornan. To be clear, she was talking about seeing more of Dornan's body, specifically, the part of his body that wasn't uncovered in the first movie.
Watch the video below to hear Johnson explain in her own words.
Fifty Shades Darker will open in theaters on February 10, 2017, with Fifty Shades Freed following on February 9, 2018.