Ryan Gosling, Shailene Woodley, And More Fifty Shades Of Grey Stars Who Could Have Been

By Katey Rich 2013-09-05 10:40:36discussion comments
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Ryan Gosling, Shailene Woodley, And More Fifty Shades Of Grey Stars Who Could Have Been image
You may not be as invested in the cast of Fifty Shades of Grey as the people writing petitions about it, but it's always fun to contemplate the "what-ifs" of the casting process, especially for a film so high-profile that relies so much on the chemistry of the two leads. We'd heard rumors for months about who was auditioning to play Anastasia and Christian, from Emma Watson to Arrow's Stephen Arnell, but The Hollywood Reporter now has a detailed post-mortem of some other names that got tossed around-- including the guy considered the model for Christian Grey.

They say that Ryan Gosling was the model from the very beginning for Christian Grey, a 27-year-old billionaire who seduces college student Anastasia Steele and introduces her to the kinky world of S&M. Unsurprisingly, given how firmly committed he seems to oddball projects and running away from tentpoles, Gosling wasn't interested. The producers then reportedly courted Garrett Hedlund, star of Tron: Legacy who's only now rescuing his reputation after that wooden performance; when Hedlund turned it down because he "couldn't connect with the character," they turned to the next best thing, Charlie Hunnam. I knew that Hunnam's stiff Pacific Rim character was similar to Hedlund's Tron character for a reason.

On the female side, Shailene Woodley was apparently a very heavy favorite, and was even ready to do the role's required nudity, but promotional duties for her upcoming sci-fi tentpole Divergent got in the way (I have to imagine the producers behind that teen-friendly would-be franchise were also less than psyched about Woodley taking on a hard-R series like Fifty Shades). Other names bandied about were Elizabeth Olsen, Felicity Jones, Imogen Poots and Alicia Vikander, but Dakota Johnson was apparently the top choice of director Sam Taylor-Johnson, who signed on in June.

A Shailene Woodley-Ryan Gosling version of Fifty Shades would probably much more closely resemble the movie imagined by fans, who always tend to think of the biggest stars possible and ignore the fact that properties like Fifty Shades don't need famous names to sell themselves. As we've discussed, Johnson and Hunnam are at the exact right point in their careers, where Fifty Shades could boost them regardless of whether it's a hit. Gosling didn't need that boost, and Woodley didn't either. If you want to provide your own fan Photoshops of what those two would have looked like anyway, though, by all means, go for it. The actual version of Fifty Shades will arrive next August.

(Ryan Gosling image via Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com)
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