A few months after news broke out that Dakota Johnson and Charlie Hunnam would play the lead roles in the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey film, Charlie Hunnam cited scheduling conflicts with his show Sons of Anarchy and bowed out of the film in October.
A few weeks later, Northern Irish actor and model, Jamie Dornan (Once Upon a Time, Marie Antoinette) was cast as Christian Grey and filming was pushed back with a new release date of February 13, 2015.
The author said the following of Hunnam’s exit and Dornan’s casting :
It was disappointing, but it is what it is. I wish him well. And now we have Jamie [Dornan], and that’s great. It’s been interesting with Jamie, [the fan reaction] has been so positive.
You can read the rest of her exclusive interview on EW.
From his modelling photos in an issue of GQ, Jamie Dornan (pictured below with actress Rosie Huntington Whitely) seems to already have the experience to play the character.
Soon after, the two leads appeared on the cover of Entertainment Weekly as part of the first promotions for the film.
Rounding up the cast are actors Eloise Mumford as Katherine “Kate” Kavanagh, Luke Grimes as Elliot Grey, Victor Rasuk as José Rodriguez, Jr., Jennifer Ehle as Carla Wilkes, Anastasia’s mother and Max Martini as Jason Taylor, Grey’s bodyguard.
Author E.L. James started teasing fans with tweets and photos, like the one below;
And when the film finally went on the floors on December 1, 2013, the author E.L. James posted an Instragram photo of the clap-on signalling the start.
Check out these photos from the first day of filming, courtesy of Just Jared.
Recently, producer Dana Brunetti spoke about releasing two versions for the film with different ratings :
“It’ll be R, obviously it has to be R. This is just my opinion and this doesn’t mean this is going to happen, but I always thought it would be really cool if we released the R version and then we had an NC-17 version that we released a few weeks later. So everybody could go and enjoy the R version, and then if they really wanted to see it again and get a little bit more gritty with it then have that NC-17 version out there as well. It’d be great for the studio too because they’d get a double dip on the box office… What we’re kind of hearing from the fans is they want it dirty, they want it as close as possible [to the book]. We want to keep it elevated but also give the fans what they want.”
Are you excited for the Fifty Shades adaptation?
The “Fifty Shades Trilogy” by British author, E. L. James, have sold over 70 million copies worldwide, which these days pretty much means that a film adaptation is nearby. The rights to the erotic, romance novels, originally written as “Twilight” fan-fiction on the Internet, were brought by The Social Network producers Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti, having been handpicked by the author who retained some degree of control, including a say in casting. The entire deal was bought by Universal pictures for US$ 5 million. WOW!
In October 2012, British screenwriter Kelly Marcel was hired to adapt the first novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” and write the screenplay, which she says will be rated NC-17! Many expressed interest in directing the film, including Angelina Jolie, Gus Van Sant (who directed a scene featuring star Alex Pettyfer as Christian Grey) and even Steven Soderbergh at one point. In June 2013, Brit Sam Taylor-Johnson (known for directing Nowhere Boy) was hired as director, fueling speculation that her husband, Kick-Ass star Aaron Taylor-Johnson, could star in the lead role, speculation that was denied by the actor, who stars in the upcoming Godzilla reboot and as Quicksilver in Marvel’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
(GIF Source – aaronjohnsondaily on tumblr)
With a release date set for August 1, 2014, the studio began the process for casting to quickly get the film underway, especially considering the fact that the novels and the subject matter were fading away fast in the public eye. Names such as Ryan Gosling and Shailene Woodley were thrown about the casting room, the latter of whom, is reported to have had no issues with nudity but had conflicting press obligations for Divergent which is due for release in theatres on March 21, 2014.
On September 1, 2013, author E. L. James took to twitter to announce that the role of naive and innocent college student Anastasia Steele had gone to Dakota Johnson.
Dakota, 23, is the daughter of actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffiths. Her credits include The Social Network (she played Stanford student Amelia Ritter, who we meet in the introductory scene with Justin Timberlake’s Sean Parker) and cancelled FOX sitcom Ben and Kate.
An hour later, the author returned on twitter to announce that the much coveted role of handsome, tormented and manipulative billionaire, Christian Grey, had gone to Sons of Anarchy and Pacific Rim star, 33 year old, Brit Charlie Hunnam.
A quick google search reveals pictures of Charlie’s Sons of Anarchy look, where he portrays a buff, tattooed biker with long hair and a beard. Suffice to say that the “Fifty Shades” fandom stormed the Internet to voice their disappointment, trending ”Matt Bomer” (the top Christian Grey fan choice) on twitter for more than a day, and creating petitions to change the official cast, something that is obviously impossible.
The producer and the author also took to twitter to explain the cast choices.
At the same time, more accepting fans, have made started making photo edits and trailers using the two actors. One such fan-made trailer is displayed below –
It is believed that Charlie Hunnam had initially refused the role but reconsidered on meeting with the studio. Both leads are signed on for a trilogy and filming is set to begin in Vancouver, Canada, on November 5, 2013, code-named “The Adventures of Max and Banks”.
With two months left before filming begins in Vancouver, Dakota is busy filming a modern day adaptation of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline, while Charlie is busy filming Season 6 of Sons of Anarchy, which premieres on September 10, 2013 on FX. Supporting roles in the film are yet to be cast.
If you need a little convincing, check out the “50 Reasons why Charlie Hunnam is Perfect for 50 Shades of Grey” according to E News!
And if you’d rather do something else than watch this adaptation, check out Hypable’s list of 10 Things to do. The Pottermore option looks so tempting, we think it’s time to disappear into that world right away!
Will you be watching Fifty Shades of Grey next August? Tell us in the comments below!