Sam Taylor-Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson

Dave M. Benett/WireImage

Sam Taylor-Johnson has cut ties with the Fifty Shades franchise.

The Fifty Shades of Grey director will not be returning to helm the sequel, her team confirming her decision to E! News on Wednesday.

"Directing Fifty Shades of Grey has been an intense and incredible journey for which I am hugely grateful," Taylor-Johnson said in a statement. "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 challenges of films two and three."

So what does this mean for the series?

Well, Taylor-Johnson is hardly the first director to helm only one or a portion of the films in a planned series.

Catherine Hardwicke memorably directed just the first Twilight movie before handing the reins to Chris Weitz (who just did New Moon and David Slade just did Eclipse). Gary Ross was one and done with The Hunger Games, and Chris Columbus directed the first two of what turned out to be eight Harry Potter movies.

Taylor-Johnson's exit also doesn't come entirely as a surprise, considering she admitted to clashing with Fifty Shades author E.L. James over a number of creative decisions during the making of the film.

50 Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades of Grey, Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson, Sam Taylor-Johnson

Chuck Zlotnick/Universal Pictures

"It was difficult, I'm not going to lie," Johnson 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'd written as well as my need to visualize this person on screen, but, you know, we got there."

Among the things they reportedly didn't agree on: how to do the film's pivotal ending.

Sam Taylor-Johnson, E.L. James

Target Presse Agentur Gmbh/Getty Images, David M. Benett/Getty Images

"Sam is getting annoyed about the way the script is being handled," a source told E! News in January 2014 while production was underway. "E.L. James wants the movie to match the book exactly, but Sam has a different perspective. Sam is reminding E.L. she writes books and she makes movies. This has caused some tension between the two of them."

Tension on set and mixed reviews aside, the finished product earned more than $550 million at the global box office—and we're guessing DVD, Blu ray, et al. sales will be brisk.

(E! Online and Universal Pictures are both members of the NBCUniversal family.)

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