After weeks of speculation, it's officially confirmed that Sam Taylor-Johnson is walking away fromFifty Shades of Grey. The English director, 48, will not be returning to direct the sequels, she announced in a statement released on Wednesday.
"Directing Fifty Shades of Grey has been an intense and incredible journey for which I'm hugely grateful," Sam told E! News. "I have Universal to thank for that. I forged close and lasting relationships with the cast, producers and crew and most especially with Dakota (Johnson) and Jamie (Dornan).
"While I will not be returning to direct the sequels, I wish nothing but success to whosoever takes on the exciting challenge of films two and three."
Sam's announcement comes after her admission that she found it difficult to work with the novel's author E.L James.
"I'm not going to lie," she told Porter magazine. "We definitely fought, but they were creative fights and we would resolve them. We would have proper on-set barneys, and I'm not confrontational, but it was about finding a way between the two of us, satisfying her vision of what she had written as well as my need to visualize this person on the screen, but, you know, we got there."
On the same day that she made her announcement, Sam spent time with the film's handsome leading man Jamie. "Today with Jamie #jamiedornan," she captioned an Instagram photo showing the pair standing and smiling side-by-side.
The first Fifty Shades of Grey movie has so far grossed more than $550 million worldwide since its release on February 13.