Well, this is an interesting turn of events. It looks like producers of 50 Shades of Grey are having to revisit their files and headshots to re-cast the role of Christian Grey left vacant by Charlie Hunnam. The Hollywood Reporter had a story late in the day yesterday in which their sources speculated as to who is on the new shortlist (hint: not Ian Somerhalder, Matt Bomer or Garrett Hedlund) and THR also says that director Sam Taylor-Johnson has hired a script doctor to punch up what was probably a kind of awful, sperm-filled script.
First, the good news: Alex Skarsgard is apparently a contender now. The bad news? Filming begins in November, which is when Alex is supposed to lead a team of American veterans to the South Pole just so Alex can tell Prince Harry to kiss his big Viking ass. What I’m saying is that Alex is not going to take the role.
In the space of a few days, Universal/Focus’ Fifty Shades of Grey has seen the subtraction of its leading man and the addition of a writer.
On Friday, the studio hired Oscar-nominated screenwriter Patrick Marber to do a polish and character work on the script. Marber’s credits include Closer and Notes on a Scandal; he also wrote a short film titled Love You More, which was directed by none other than Fifty Shades helmer Sam Taylor-Johnson.
The move to hire Marber was made before star Charlie Hunnam decamped the high-profile project on Saturday.
Speculation has swirled that the script, penned by Kelly Marcel, might be the reason Hunnam abruptly left the adaptation of E L James’ mammoth best-seller. But sources say the polish by Marber is standard and the script is ready for a November start date, should the studio be able to find a new leading man in time.
Universal is now looking to fill the void left by Hunnam’s abrupt exit. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the list of possible replacements includes Jamie Dornan of the U.K. series The Fall and Alexander Skarsgard of True Blood. The studio also is revisiting its initial list of possible contenders, including Theo James and Christian Cooke. Garrett Hedlund, who had received an informal offer during the first round of casting, is unavailable due to his schedule on Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, which starts shooting this week in Australia.
Dakota Johnson remains in place to star as the film’s heroine.
It took me a second to realize where I’d heard the name “Jamie Dornan” before, then it hit me. That was the dude who dated Keira Knightley for several years just before her relationship with hottie Rupert Friend (I LOVE HIM) and her marriage to James Righton. Jamie is HOT. His coloring is darker than what I was imagining for Christian Grey, but you know what? I wouldn’t mind seeing Jamie Dornan stripped down and banging Dakota Johnson. Sure. I would go for that. I think he’s probably the best choice amongst this group. Alex is too busy (and Alex would only do it for fun and he would insist on full-frontal and then the ratings board would freak out because VIKING DONG would be in every single shot), Theo James is much too young (and frankly, he’s not hot enough) and I don’t even know this “Christian Cooke” character. It sounds like an alias for Ian Somerhalder.
Anyway, enjoy the pretty pictures of Alex and Jamie.
Photos courtesy of WENN, Out Magazine, GQ.