The Fifty Shades book series is one of the popular of all time. Fifty Shades of Grey became the fastest selling novel ever, and was swiftly followed by sequels Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, which further helped fuel the hysteria surrounding the series.
On Valentine’s Day 2015, Universal released the movie version of Fifty Shades of Grey, capturing the hearts of new fans everywhere whilst remaining faithful to the novel. This too became a huge success, scoring one of the biggest openings for an 18-rated film (£13.5 million in the UK) and going on to making over $500 million worldwide.
Now the sequel, Fifty Shades Darker, is the most anticipated romance movie in recent years, and a new trailer has landed. Before bringing you that, here’s why you need to book your tickets for Fifty Shades Darker as soon as it’s released and why it promises to be better than the first.
Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan turn up the heat
In Fifty Shades these guys were rising stars with some hits behind them. In the wake of that film's success they're now both fully-fledged A-listers, and that combined star power promises to sizzle more than ever before.
Dakota Johnson starred alongside Johnny Depp and Benedict Cumberbatch in the super-tense thriller about Whitey Bulger, Black Mass, which received critical acclaim back in late 2015. She also starred in twisty-turny drama A Bigger Splash alongside Ralph Fiennes and Tilda Swinton in early 2016.
Meanwhile, Jamie Dornan has also had a successful post-Fifty Shades of Grey run, receiving critical acclaim in World War II film Anthropoid, where he starred alongside Cillian Murphy on a mission to assassinate Hitler’s third in command: Heydrich. Plus, let's not forget his ongoing, unforgettably creepy role in TV smash The Fall opposite Gillian Anderson.
So can we expect even more intensity and smouldering chemistry in Fifty Shades Darker? We can only hope.
Jack Hyde's first appearance!
If you remember the ending of the first film, you’ll recall that Ana left Christian after their love for each other got too complicated and they needed some time apart. So now, Ana lives on her own working at the Seattle International Publishing company with her new boss Jack Hyde (played by The Knick actor Eric Johnson). He’s a mysterious man of many secrets, just like Christian Grey, who seems to be interested in Ana in a way that is more than a little predatory.
In the trailer, he also seems to be controlling: just like Christian, he attempts to seduce Ana in his office. And like the aforementioned Mr. Grey, he appears to mix the bad boy persona with dashing good looks. We’re ‘curious’ to see how his story plays out, and how it impacts on Ana and Christian's ongoing relationship.
"I don’t do romance," Christian says many times throughout Fifty Shades of Grey. But deep down, we all know he does do romance (in his own way). After all, he took her on both a helicopter and glider flight – Christian Grey certainly knows how to show a woman a good time.
And if the Fifty Shades Darker trailer tells us anything, there’s even more romance on the cards. The trailer teases another luxurious helicopter ride, an amazing yacht ride sailing across the lake, and a masked ball that appears to ooze erotic, sensual atmosphere.
As mentioned, Jack Hyde is a very mysterious character who will have a big part to play in the film. However, the intrigue doesn’t end there: we have another character to talk about, and that character is Leila (played by Bella Heathcote).
From the trailer, we can tell that Leila has previously had a relationship with Christian Grey and is trying to warn Ana Steele about him ("Do you think you’re the first woman to try and save him?"). Is she really warning Ana about Christian Grey, or could she be a very jealous ex-lover fired up by their close relationship and love for each other! Could Leila and Jack team up to stop this relationship? Who knows?
Plus, lurking behind everything is another key face from Christian's past: Elena Lincoln, portrayed by Kim Basinger who is herself a veteran of infamous 1987 erotic drama Nine 1/2 Weeks opposite Mickey Rourke. What part does she have to play? If you've read the books and already know... keep quiet!
So, the wait is over. Click here to book your tickets for Fifty Shades Darker and then check out the steamy new trailer below. The movie is released on 10th February 2017.
Jake Gibbard is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.