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Fifty Shades Of Grey Finds Its New Christian Grey, Jamie Dornan Signs On

And the new Christian Grey is… Jamie Dornan. The Irish actor was among the contenders who reportedly tested for the male lead in Fifty Shades of Grey recently, and this evening comes word that Dornan has signed on to replace Charlie Hunnam as the dark and dominant billionaire Christian Grey.

Variety confirmed the news today, stating that Dornan has been tapped to star opposite previously cast Dakota Johnson in the film, which is set to be directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson. Universal and Focus Features offered no comment on the casting news. But as we mentioned, Dornan reportedly recently tested with Johnson for the part, which was vacated by Sons of Anarchy’s Charlie Hunnam earlier this month.

So, who is Jamie Dornan, you ask? Fans of Once Upon a Time should recognize him as the eventually-heartbroken Huntsman and Sheriff Graham in the ABC drama series’ first season. Dornan plays a much less likable character in the Irish-British series The Fall, starring as Paul Spector, a Belfast husband and father who’s harboring a secret serial-killing hobby. Gillian Anderson plays the detective drafted to investigate the case.The series’ first season is only five episodes and well worth a look (opens in new tab), especially now, if you’re looking to see traces of Dornan’s dark side.

Of course, Christian Grey’s no serial killer, but he does have a dark history and some demons to battle, which is part of the story, as he falls for the virginal college grad Anastasia Steele and eventually teaches her a rougher side of sex. The film is expected to go into production soon, with an August 1, 2014 release date.

Sure, there are people who’d rather see Matt Bomer, Ian Somerhalder or some other better known actor take the role, but I think Dornan could be the right way to go here. Prior to Once Upon a Time and The Fall, his credits are limited to a handful of roles, so he’s not exactly a household name, but that’s not such a bad thing. A less familiar face may be more easily adaptable for a character like this, as fans likely have differing mental pictures of what Christian Grey looks like. What is evident is that expectations are high for this film and for the man who fills Christian Grey’s expensive shoes. This part could prove to be an big opportunity for Dornan to make a name for himself. We’ll have to wait and see how it turns out and what kind of chemistry he and Johnson have together on screen.

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Kelly West
Assistant Managing Editor

Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site.