To the delight of several obsessive Tumblr pages and message boards across the Internet, Charlie Hunnam has dropped out of the hotly anticipated 50 Shades of Grey film adaptation.
According to a statement from Universal Pictures obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, "The filmmakers of 50 Shades of Grey and Charlie Hunnam have agreed to find another male lead given Hunnam's immersive TV schedule which is not allowing him time to adequately prepare for the role of Christian Grey."
Hunnman, who was slated to play the handsome and domineering Christian Grey in the upcoming film, does have a hefty TV commitment under his belt. He is the star of FX's biker drama Sons of Anarchy, but this small screen role didn't prevent him from starring in this year's Pacific Rim, so his sudden departure from the project is at least a little bit suspicious. According to a tweet from Matt Belloni of The Hollywood Reporter, Hunnam really dropped out due to "cold feet," and his TV schedule had nothing to do with his ability to play the role.
Hunnam and costar Dakota Johnson were announced as leads for the project in early September, leading to a torrent of backlash from fans of the book series, proclaiming that neither actor was right for their respective roles. Fans clamored for different actors that better fit the images of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele that they have spent hours sculpting in their imaginations. The tide of disappointment had even led to some fans signing a petition to oust the two actors — one of these petitions reached over 80,000 signatures.
As such, for many fans, this news is a cause for celebration, and some corners of the web are undoubtedly uncorking bottles of internet champagne and toasting each other to a job well done. These fans will probably continue to pester other actors that want nothing to do with the project, but now with even more vigor, typing in unison, "One down, one to go!" in a fury of clacking keyboards.
Whether superfans of the trilogy like it or not, the lead roles in the Fifty Shades of Grey film adaptation have been cast: Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson are the new Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. This casting decision made huge waves, as many folks had their hearts set on other actors, but Hunnam and Johnson are capable talents who can absolutely bring these roles to life. Still, there's the question of the supporting cast, which could also make a big difference in how the film pans out. Christian and Ana are obviously a huge deal, but there are many minor characters in the books that affect the steamy story of love, sex, and BDSM. Based on character descriptions and our desire to see...well, more hot people in the cast, here are our choices for the supporting cast of this highly-anticipated movie.
Blake Lively as Kate Kavanaugh
We so see Gossip Girl Blake Lively as Anastasia's blonde bombshell of a BFF. Gorgeous, outspoken, and a little bit overbearing -- we think Blake could pull it off.
Jay Hernandez as José Rodriguez
Not everyone will remember this cutie, but Jay Hernandez first caught a lot of eyes when he starred alongside Kirsten Dunst in Crazy/Beautiful. Since then he landed a role on the popular ABC series Nashville, and we'd love to see himback on the big screen as Ana's hot photographer friend.
Paul Walker as Elliot Grey
Christian Grey's older brother needs be played by someone who's just as good-looking, but a little less intense. And since he actually ends up with Kate Kavanaugh (our Blake Lively), then we had to think of someone who would pair up well with her. Enter Paul Walker. The Fast & Furious actor adds a little more eye candy to the cast (no such thing as too much of that), and he and Hunnam could totally pass as brothers from another mother.
Diane Lane as Elena "Mrs. Robinson" Lincoln
Mrs. Robinson is the beautiful, dominating older woman who turned young Christian Grey into the complicated (and somewhat frightening) man he eventually becomes. There's only one woman who we think could pull off this sexual and somewhate severe role. Diane Lane...but only if she channels her character from Unfaithful.
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Read or watch any Shakespearean comedy, and you'll notice a running theme of women disgusing themselves as men. Well, on the set of the upcoming adaptation of Cymbeline, things have been taken one step further. That's becuase Dakota Johnson's stunt double is a man, doubling for a woman, who is playing a woman disguised as a man. Confused yet? We don't blame you.
In fact, like all of the Bard's plays, the photo raises a great deal of questions — will he be doing her stunts in Fifty Shades of Grey as well? Why does that brown wig look so terrible on both of them? Most importantly, does anyone else think that Penn Badgley's double looks a bit like Jimmy Fallon?
We might not have the answers to those questions, but we do have plenty more double trouble in our gallery of celebrities and their stunt doubles, below.
GALLERY: 17 Celebrities and the Stunt Doubles
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Charlie Hunnam is feeling confident about the kinky sex scenes in his upcoming movie Fifty Shades Of Grey as he shed his inhibitions as a teenager while making cult gay TV series Queer As Folk. The British actor has landed the coveted role of Christian Grey in the big screen adaptation of E. L. James' bestselling erotic novel, opposite Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele.
The film will contain a number of racy bedroom scenes, but Hunnam is convinced he is up to the challenge following his turn as a gay teenager in the popular British 1990s TV show, which included plenty of saucy scenarios.
He tells The Hollywood Reporter, "My first job was on a Channel 4 miniseries called Queer as Folk. It was incredibly explicit sexual scenes with a man. I mean I'm 16 and 17 years wiser now. So if I could do it when I was 18 with a guy, I can certainly do it at 33 with a lady."
Hunnam also insists Johnson is the perfect choice to play the female lead, adding, "As soon as we got in the room and started reading with Dakota, I knew that I definitely wanted to do it, because there was a tangible chemistry between us. It felt kind of exciting and fun and weird and compelling, and so that was it."
However, he reveals his girlfriend Morgana McNelis may struggle to watch the Fifty Shades of Grey movie: "It's very hard to be with an actor. She's required to share parts of me that she wouldn't really want to share. With the nature of this role, that's going to be times 10..."
Outraged Fifty Shades Of Grey fans have launched an online petition in a bid to force film bosses to reconsider casting Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson as the leads in the movie adaptation of E.L. James' book. The author announced on Monday (02Sep13) that Hunnam and Johnson will play Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in the film, and fans are far from happy.
Many have taken to Change.org and are petitioning Hollywood executives and James to replace Hunnam and Johnson with fan favourites Matt Bomer and Alexis Bledel.
Producers of the film have defended the castings, explaining chemistry, talent and availability had a lot to do with their choices.
On Twitter.com, Dana Brunetti writes, "There is a lot that goes into casting that isn't just looks. Talent, availability, their desire to do it, chemistry with other actor, etc.
"So if your favourite wasn't cast, then it is most likely due to something on that list. Keep that in mind while hating and keep perspective."
As of press time on Tuesday (03Sep13), the petition had garnered over 6,700 signatures.
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Upon hearing that Charlie Hunnam has been cast as the titular sado-masochist in the upcoming film adaptation of EL James' novel Fifty Shades of Grey (the news reported by Deadline), fans of the story have been chiming in with their approval — or lack thereof — of the choice. But looking at it from another angle, is Fifty Shades the right choice for Hunnam at this point in his career? Ever since the polarizing Pacific Rim, Hunnam has been on thin ice with some critics and moviegoers. Working with occasionally abject dialogue, Hunnam gave a performance that has been called out as the worst part of Guillermo del Toro's film. So will something like James' pseudo-porn from the screenwriter behind the groan-worthy Terra Nova be a detriment to Hunnam at this sensitive crossroads?
If he were just another well-sculpted frontman whose career had promise only to marshal action-heavy blockbusters and sultry romances, then we might not even bother with the question of whether or not this is the right time for Hunnam to sign onto Fifty Shades. But the man has talent, and fandom to boot. His Sons of Anarchy role, Jax Teller, has earned him critical praise and public celebration. He proved comically adept as the uncurably suave Lloyd on Judd Apatow's goofy college comedy Undeclared, impressed in a handful of acclaimed dramas, with Alfonso Cuaron's Children of Men a standout.
In short, Hunnam has the goods. He can handle real material, not just kaijus and sex dens. And we're afraid that so soon after an unfavorable Pac Rim reaction, Hunnam's assignment to Christian Grey might label him forever a flat actor who juggles lackluster scripts.
Then again, maybe we shouldn't discount Fifty Shades entirely. Maybe Hunnam and newly cast costar Dakota Johnson will derive some provocative chemistry from the story. Maybe screenwriter Kelly Marcel, who is also handling this year's anticipated picture Saving Mr. Banks, has more up her sleeve than a few "Oh my God! A dinosaur!" exclamations. Maybe director Sam Taylor-Johnson will conjure up her Nowhere Boy magic and instill this new project with a hefty dose of character and charm. If all things go as such, this might not be such a bad choice for Hunnam after all.
But try convincing the Fifty Shades fans that he's not a bad choice for the movie...
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Melanie Griffith is a proud mum after learning her daughter Dakota Johnson has landed the lead in the movie adaptation of E.L. James' scandalous novel Fifty Shades Of Grey. James herself announced the casting on Monday (02Sep13), revealing Charlie Hunnam would be playing Christian Grey opposite Johnson's Anastasia Steele, and Griffith jumped on Twitter to celebrate.
She wrote, "My beautiful child Dakota has been chosen to play Anna Steele in 50 Shades. Look out world! Here she comes!!! #proudmama."
Meanwhile, producer Michael De Luca has revealed the pairing of Hunnam and Johnson was easy to pick as there was "incredible chemistry" between them.
He says, "Auditions were stunning."
The Fifty Shades of Grey movie will open next summer (Aug14).
Melanie Griffith's actress daughter Dakota Johnson will romance Charlie Hunnam in the upcoming film adaptation of erotic bestseller Fifty Shades Of Grey. Author E.L. James announced the big news on Monday (02Sep13), revealing The Social Network star, whose father is Miami Vice veteran Don Johnson, had been chosen to portray adventurous college student Anastasia Steele on the big screen.
Taking to her Twitter.com blog, James wrote, "I am delighted to let you know that the lovely Dakota Johnson has agreed to be our Anastasia in the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey."
Minutes later, she added, "The gorgeous and talented Charlie Hunnam will be Christian Grey in the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey."
Johnson's casting comes just days after she was tipped for the role, ahead of the likes of Emma Watson, Kate Beckinsale and Alexis Bledel, while Sons of Anarchy star Hunnam also recently emerged as the hot favourite to play masochistic billionaire Grey.
British filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson will direct the movie.
Melanie Griffith's actress daughter Dakota Johnson has emerged as the favourite for the female lead in the big screen adaptation of raunchy bestseller Fifty Shades Of Grey. The 23-year-old former model, whose father is Miami Vice legend Don Johnson, is currently a "serious contender" to play the book's heroine Anastasia Steele, according to movie industry website TheWrap.com.
A host of famous faces, including Emma Watson, Kate Beckinsale and Alexis Bledel, have reportedly been considered for the coveted part, but Johnson is said to be a favourite as she has few film credits to her name.
British moviemaker Sam Taylor-Johnson has signed up to direct the Hollywood version of the erotic literary sensation by E.L. James, while Sons of Anarchy's Charlie Hunnam is the latest name linked to the role of masochistic billionaire Christian Grey.
Jewish rapper Matisyahu, rocker Travis Barker and pop star Ariana Grande have teamed up for an unlikely collaboration as part of U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama's ongoing campaign to promote healthy living. The three artists have recorded a track titled U R What You Eat (Salad Bar) for a new hip-hop inspired album, Songs for a Healthier America, which was put together by officials at Obama's Partnership for a Healthier America organisation and the Hip Hop Public Health group.
Other tunes on the project bring together Ashanti, Gerry Gunn, Artie Green and Robbie Nova, while Shayna Steele, Jeremy Jordan, Our Time Theater kids and Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band guitarist Nils Lofgren have joined forces for another song.
Executives at Obama's Let's Move! campaign, which aims to fight obesity and promote fitness among kids, hope the message to lead healthier lives reaches children via the music.
Sam Kass, executive director of Let's Move! and White House assistant chef, says, "Cultural leaders and visionaries in our country can give these messages to kids in a way that's not preachy. Kids are going to be dancing and listening to the music. I think hip-hop in particular - so many kids love hip-hop. It's such a core part of our culture... and particularly in the African-American community and the Latino community, which is being disproportionately affected by those health issues."
Jordin Sparks and hip-hop icon Doug E. Fresh are also among the artists featured on the album - their duet Everybody was released earlier this year (13).
The Let's Move! campaign was launched in 2010 and featured a video from Beyonce, who reworked her song Get Me Bodied and renamed it Move Your Body for the Let's Move! Flash Workout initiative.