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'Fifty Shades' director quits the franchise

"Fifty Shades of Grey" director Sam Taylor-Johnson will not be returning to direct a sequel.

Taylor-Johnson made the much-anticipated Fifty Shades franchise departure official on Wednesday in a statement, according to Deadline.com.

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"Directing Fifty Shades Of Grey has been an intense and incredible journey for which I am hugely grateful," the statement read. "I have Universal to thank for that. I forged close and lasting relationships with the cast, producers and crew and most especially, with Dakota and Jamie. While I will not be returning to direct the sequels, I wish nothing but success to whosoever takes on the exciting challenges of films two and three."

Taylor-Johnson had been vocal about creative clashes with E.L. James, the author who created the best-selling bondage-filled trilogy.

"We'd often clash and have to find a way to work through that to get to some sort of resolution," Taylor-Johnson told The Hollywood Reporter. "She would be the first to say as well that it was not easy. It was not easy. But we got there. I think both of us felt it was an incredibly painful process."

Taylor-Johnson did not mention James in her gracious departure statement.

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The film starring Jamie Dornan as kinky billionaire Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele has made more than $500 million worldwide since opening over Valentine's Day weekend.

The planned follow-up film does not have a release date.

(Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of Universal Studios and CNBC.)