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No surprise: ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ director not returning

Considering the on-set battles between “Fifty Shades of Grey” director Sam Taylor-Johnson and author E.L. James over the first big-screen interpretation of James’ mega-bestselling trilogy, it’s no surprise to learn Taylor-Johnson has now officially dropped out of directing any further “Grey” films.

In an exclusive statement to Deadline.com the director called helming the first picture “an intense and incredible journey for which I am hugely grateful.”

Her statement made a point of graciously thanking Universal Pictures for the opportunity to direct the movie, and said she had “forged close and lasting relationships with the cast, producers and crew,” particularly lauding stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan — but making no mention of James.

As the widely panned “Fifty Shades of Grey” has already booked more than a half-billion dollars at the box office worldwide, it’s a sure bet a new director will quickly be in place to carry the franchise forward.