'50 Shades' franchise news: Actresses to play Leila Williams, Gia Matteo finally revealed; Dakota Johnson says role drives men away


In the past couple of weeks, a lot of development has happened in the pre-production of the next two movies in the “50 Shades” franchise.

As previously reported, Kim Basinger went on board as Elena Lincoln also known as Mrs. Robinson, the older female companion of Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) who introduced him to the world of sexual domination and submission.

Now, it looks like Mrs. Robinson is only one of the few other women that Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) needs to worry about as Bella Heathcoate is also coming aboard as Leila Williams, Christian’s former partner.

In “50 Shades Darker,” coming February of next year, Leila will be stalking Anastasia to the point that she will point a gun at her. The Australian actress is fresh off filming “Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies.” She had previous roles alongside Johnny Depp in “Dark Shadows” and Australian TV classic “Neighbours.”

Unfortunately, for Anastasia, the list of women wanting Christian does not end there as the production also cast actress Arielle Kebbel as Gia Matteo, the couple’s architect. Her character, however, only comes out in the third book of E.L. James’ novels when she comes and visits the newlywed Christian and Anastasia to discuss the plans for their new home.

Meanwhile, since starring in the debut movie of the franchise, Johnson has been skyrocketing into fame appearing in movies such as “Black Mass” alongside Johnny Depp and the most recent one, “How to be Single.” During her press tour for the Valentine’s Day movie, Johnson revealed that her role in “50 Shades” is driving men away.

”Some people think this is something I’m interested in, in my private life, which is not the case. I’m an actor, I pretend. But I guess it’s something that happens with a lot of actors; people think that, in real life, they are like the characters they play,” the actress told Mirror.co.uk.

”My life has changed dramatically. There are times that I feel lonely, but then I just watch movies and read books and I’m happy that I have the time to do those things. I cherish my solitude,” she pondered on, but immediately perked up adding, “Luckily I have such a distraction in my job, I don’t think about men very often. All of my focus is on my job at the moment.”