Well, that was fast. Earlier today we shared word that Dakota Johnson was signed on to play the lead role of Anastasia Steele in the anticipated feature adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. With the part of Ana cast, we were left to wonder who would play Christian Grey. Universal has reportedly made it official that that role will go to Pacific Rim star Charlie Hunnam, who's well known to Sons of Anarchy for his lead role as SAMCRO president Jax Teller.
Following their previous report that Dakota Johnson would be playing Ana, Deadline has confirmed that Charlie Hunnam has officially been set to play Christian Grey in the feature adaptation of E.L. James' steamy romance novel. In the book, Christian is a wealthy and successful businessman who takes an interest in the virginal Anastasia Steele when she comes to his office to interview him for her college paper. He eventually lures Ana into the world of S&M. She falls hopelessly in love with him, but soon learns that Christian has a dark past that he hasn't fully resolved.
Charlie Hunnam was recently rumored for the lead, but given how many names have been dropped for the roles of Ana and Christian since the project went into development, it was hard to know exactly how close he was to grabbing the role. And it was also reported that they were looking to cast the part of Ana before making any decisions about who would play Christian. It seems all of that was in the works, and the confirmations are in.
Whether or not fans are happy with the selections that have been made remains to be seen. As I mentioned earlier, Johnson's better associated with comedy. Meanwhile, with Pacific Rim under his belt, it was looking like Hunnam might be looking to transition toward action films, while also playing the lead in the FX biker drama Sons of Anarchy. Taking the romantic lead in what's expected to be a pretty sexually charged drama seems like a different direction with that in mind. Then again, his credits are all over the genre map, so this news may not be quite as out-there as we might initially think.
As mentioned, Hunnam's well known for playing the role of Jax Teller in Sons of Anarchy for FX. The series is coming up on its sixth season, though we've already begun to see Hunnam branch out to film, with his most recent role as Raleigh Becket for the sci-fi thriller Pacific Rim. His feature credits also include Children of Men, Cold Mountain and Nicholas Nickleby. On the small screen, in addition to his role in Sons of Anarchy, he also appeared in the U.K. series Queer as Folk and played the dreamy British college student Lloyd Haythe in Judd Apatow's short-lived TV comedy Undeclared.
Fifty Shades of Grey is set to be directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, based on a screenplay by Kelly Marcel. The film's release date is set for August 1, 2014.