When Fifty Shades of Grey came out, it seemed like every woman in America was reading it. The furor over the Twilight inspired book was so comical, in fact, that it resulted in an entire skit in honor of Mother’s Day on Saturday Night Live.
Now, a film adaptation is in the works and there has already been some drama surrounding the casting. As is often the case with popular books, fans have been particularly picky about who will portray their beloved characters. This scrutiny can be intimidating to those being considered (think about the backlash that resulted from Ben Affleck being announced as the new Batman!). There have also been reports that some actors have flat out refused to even be associated with the hot and heavy storyline that has been dubbed “mommy porn.”
While many names were initially tossed around (Ryan Gosling, reportedly, declined an offer), Sons of Anarchy star, Charlie Hunnam, was originally confirmed as Christian Grey but he suddenly dropped out earlier this month citing scheduling conflicts but some have speculated that he wasn’t happy with the script or the reaction from fans. As a result, the hunt for a new leading man began and it’s now being reported that Once Upon a Time actor, Jamie Dornan, has been chosen.
The 31-year-old will take on the role of the bondage-loving sadomasochist who falls for an innocent, inexperienced younger woman. The Irish actor will be playing opposite Dakota Johnson, the 24-year old daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, who will be portraying Anastasia Steele.
So far, the response to this re-cast has been pretty favorable since fans of Once Upon a Time can vouch for his ability to pull off being sexy and dreamy. That might be true but, if he’s going to be Christian Grey, he’s also needs have the skills to be cold, dominating, emotionally unavailable and even a little abusive. Some have downplayed the complexity of the character but it actually could be a bit of a challenge. Of course, much of this will also depend on the natural chemistry between Dornan and Johnson. Given the intensely erotic nature of the original plot, it will be interesting to see how that translates onto the big screen.
If casting is still being resolved, the film is clearly not in production but Fifty Shades of Grey is expected to hit theaters in August 2014. There has been no word on whether the studio plans to create films for all three books in the series.