2016's King Arthur is taking shape under the leadership of director Guy Ritchie. It's the first of multiple films in a proposed trilogy, so for the lead role, they'll need someone strong, masculine, and compelling - someone who audiences will want to see again and again. So how about someone kinky as well?
The Sun (via The Daily Mail) is claiming that Jamie Dornan is Guy Ritchie's top choice to star as the titular character King Arthur. You don't know Dornan yet, though he's about to blow up as the star of Fifty Shades Of Grey. As the extremely handsome and wealthy BDSM playboy Christian Grey, Dornan is Universal's choice to steam up screens for the next couple of years in a Fifty Shades Of Grey series. Would that be a problem if he's going to be doing multiple King Arthur adventures as well? (that's a big if.)
Sources claims that interest in the role between the Warner Bros. and Dornan is mutual, with the actor eager to diversify - lest he become Christian Grey forever. But Universal might feel that King Arthur could overshadow Dornan's interests and priorities, since Fifty Shades Of Grey is the sort of contract one might seek to escape. If reports are to be believed, the studios are hammering out some sort of agreement, but Warner Bros. doesn't want to commit just yet and Universal is reluctant to part with him.
50 Shades of Grey has both career-defining and career-destroying potential for everyone involved. On the page, the character has generated his own share of controversy. Fans find Grey's masculinity powerful, and his overwhelming, all-encompassing seduction of Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson in the movie) to be a show of old-school masculinity and a mastery of power dynamics. Detractors believe he's a sadistic, manipulative creep who doesn't take mutual consent seriously. Of course, Dornan doesn't have to worry about those who hate the character already: it's the superfans who are demanding 100% fidelity to the source, and who will be let down by anyone who isn't the dream man of their fantasies. Or maybe we're all lying about this and we're hate-watching this movie just as we've hate-read the books. They are really terrible.
It's a little early to say whether Jamie Dornan is suited to play King Arthur, but he's young enough to grow into the role and assume his title in a multi-film franchise. Universal is gambling several millions into the belief that audiences will respond to Dornan. But, being a major adventure movie tentpole, Warner Bros. would be gambling HUNDREDS of millions on Dornan's appeal. That's the thing about sequels then and now. Back then, you could recast and keep going. Today, continuity is going to force you to stick with the leading man you've cast. Could that be Dornan? King Arthur, with or without the 50 Shades of Grey star, hits theaters July 22nd, 2016.
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