Ever since I read the mess that is 50 Shades of Grey, I’ve been convinced that the film adaptation should be cast straight out of CW. Just give Ian Somerhalder the role of Christian Grey, because that dude is BEGGING for it. And just cast one of those CW girls as Anastasia Beaverhausen or whatever her name is (Anastasia Steele, for those nitpickers). Like, Nina Dobrev would be fine. It’s not like I’m going to see this movie or anything, but if you’re going to cast it, do it Twihard-style and go solidly C-list, with actors who are right for the roles.
But! It looks like some people are taking the 50 Shades film way more seriously than you’d expect. These days, Oscar-nominated director Gus Van Sant is involved. And they might have found someone B-list for Christina Grey: hot British douchenozzle Alex Pettyfer! I hate to say it, but Alex might be good as Christian. UGH I hate that I just wrote that.
Two-time Oscar nominee Gus Van Sant has shot a steamy sex scene featuring Alex Pettyfer as Christian Grey in a bid to direct “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the film version of the erotic bestseller, individuals familiar with the project have told TheWrap.
The scene, insiders said, is when the ingénue Anastasia Steele loses her virginity to Grey.
Van Sant previously directed “Promised Land” and “Milk” for Focus Features, which has the rights to EL James’ novel along with Universal Pictures. Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti are producing.
Insiders stressed that Pettyfer was cast as Grey just for the tape, not the movie, though Universal just got into bed with the 23 year-old actor on its sexy remake of “Endless Love,” which he is currently shooting in Atlanta. TheWrap was unable to confirm the identity of the actress cast at Steele, the impressionable young woman who falls for kinky billionaire Grey.
Universal and Focus have declined to comment on any list stories, long or short, though a Universal spokesperson said that the studio isn’t out to directors or actors, nor have they commissioned any test reels. WME has also declined comment.
Van Sant has not settled on a follow-up film since wrapping “Promised Land,” which makes him available to begin working on the project as soon as writer Kelly Marcel delivers a finished draft of the script. Van Sant was not officially asked by the studio to shoot a test tape. But doing so may indicate how badly he wants the coveted assignment.
Universal and Focus spent at least $3 million in a bidding war to crack the whip on “Fifty Shades of Grey,” and they’ll certainly be expecting the pop culture phenomenon to be a hit, and a franchise for the studio. Van Sant has only directed one film to cross the domestic $100 million mark — 1997′s “Good Will Hunting” grossed $138 million in the U.S. — and only one more to cross the domestic $50 million mark, as “Finding Forrester” grossed $51 million in 2000.
Van Sant has long been considered a director who confronts themes such as sex and sexuality head-on, from his debut film the “Mala Noche” to the hustlers in “My Own Private Idaho” to Nicole Kidman’s provocative dance in “To Die For” to serving as the executive producer of Larry Clark’s explicit “Kids.”
Van Sant’s candidacy confirms the producers’ intentions to hire a high-class filmmaker to deliver a tasteful adaption of the steamy novel. It’s possible the success of Steven Soderbergh’s male stripper movie “Magic Mike” and its appeal to female audiences is why Van Sant chose to use Pettyfer in his test tape.
Okay, so it seems like Alex might have just been doing Gus Van Sant a favor and maybe Alex isn’t even interested in the role? But who are we kidding? Alex wouldn’t have done the tape unless he wanted to be considered. And I can hear Ian Somerhalder weeping from here, because Alex fits the description of Christian Grey perfectly, and he would be able to play Grey’s weirdness and creepiness too. And… although Alex seems like a controlling, c-bomb-dropping, moody, entitled bastard, that’s kind of perfect for the role. And he’s sexy in a “Jesus, this guy is a douche but I’d hit it and quit it” sort of way.
Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and WENN.