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British writer E L James (L) and her Irish-born husband Niall Leonard walk on the red carpet as they arrive for the screening of Fifty 'Shades of Grey' as part of Berlinale Special Gala at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival Berlinale in Berlin, on February 11, 2015. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

New ‘Fifty Shades’ Screenwriter Has Ultimate E.L. James Connection

British writer E L James (L) and her Irish-born husband Niall Leonard walk on the red carpet as they arrive for the screening of Fifty 'Shades of Grey' as part of Berlinale Special Gala at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival Berlinale in Berlin, on February 11, 2015. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)
British writer E L James (L) and her Irish-born husband Niall Leonard walk on the red carpet as they arrive for the screening of Fifty 'Shades of Grey' as part of Berlinale Special Gala at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival Berlinale in Berlin, on February 11, 2015.     AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL        (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)
“You are my rock, my husband, the father of my children … you can do anything honey.” (Getty Images)

We knew Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson had bowed out from moving forward with the movie trilogy, but it appears the screenwriter is being swapped out too.

Author E.L. James is keeping it in the family, and has signed on her husband Niall Leonard to write the film adaptation for the Fifty Shades of Grey sequel, which is entitled Fifty Shades Darker, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

Leonard has a background in television with credits including Air Force One is Down (2013), Wild at Heart (2007-2012), Wire in the Blood (2004-2007), and Monarch of the Glen (2000-2004). These are just his latest successes with his TV and film writing career going back to 1987.

In addition to his screenwriting, Leonard is an accomplished novelist with his Crusher trilogy.

Here’s a bit from his GoodReads profile:

Niall Leonard grew up in Newry, Northern Ireland. In 1977 he attended the University of York to study English, and from there went on to The UK National Film and Television School where he trained as a screenwriter and director.

You can read his full profile at GoodReads, which includes his being married with two children and a rather smelly dog.

The first installment of Fifty Shades of Grey was penned by Kelly Marcel (Saving Mr. Banks), which did all right, earning $568 million worldwide.

The reason Marcel is not returning has not been addressed.

But producer Michael De Luca has released a statement welcoming Leonard, saying, “Niall is an outstanding writer in his own right, with multiple established credits, and we are lucky to have him join Team Fifty.”

What do you think about the turn of events?

See More:
‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Director Sam Taylor-Johnson Calls it Quits on Trilogy
‘Fifty Shades’ Sequels Planned, E.L. James Wants More Control
WATCH: ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’s Jamie Dornan Stars in Acorn TV’s ‘New Worlds’

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By Brigid Brown