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Charlie Hunnam has made a name for himself playing the strong and tough Jax Teller in FX's biker drama Sons of Anarchy, but those who have seen the British actor in other roles know he does have a bit of range beyond the tough-guy role, which could serve him well if the reports are true that he's in the running for the male lead in the feature adaptation of EL James' steamy romance novel Fifty Shades of Grey.
TwitchFilm shared this update, stating that Hunnam is the producers' prime target to play Christian Grey, the wealthy but tormented businessman who sweeps young Anastasia off her feet and eventually lures her into his bedroom full of sex toys and S&M devices.
One look at Charlie Hunnam, and it's not difficult to believe the producers could see him in the role of the dreamy male lead. However, yesterday, when we shared the news that The Social Network's Dakota Johnson was reportedly in the running for the role of Ana, we also shared The Wrap's report that producers were looking to cast the part of Ana before they made any decisions about who will play Christian. With that said, that doesn't mean producers don't have Hunnam's name on their list to read for Christian once they have their Ana locked in place.
A reading would determine whether or not Hunnam's a good fit for the role and that he has the right chemistry with whoever lands the Ana role, but on the surface, if they're aiming to cast a relatively established star, Hunnam would be an interesting choice. While it's not all that difficult to picture Christian Grey cruising around on a motorcycle, it's less easy picturing Jax Teller all suited up. But as I said, we do know Hunnam has some range, so I'm inclined to be open-minded about this even though I can't totally picture it just yet. The actor's earlier credits include Undeclared and Queer as Folk, for television, and Cold Mountain, Children of Men and more recently, Pacific Rim on the feature side. Sons of Anarchy is expected to be around for at least two more seasons, but if Pacific Rim is any indication, Hunnam's ready to start pushing forward toward a bigger career in feature films. Fifty Shades of Grey would certainly do the trick in earning even more mainstream exposure, given how hugely popular the book is.
The film is slated for an August 2014 release, with Sam Taylor-Johnson set to direct. With less than a year to go until the movie is expected to arrive in theaters, we should hopefully be hearing confirmation about the two leads in the near future. In the meantime, let the speculation continue…
And for those who want to see Hunnam in a suit, here's an old clip from Queer as Folk. Mind the accent...