Producer on casting Christian Grey: ‘It’s like casting Superman or James Bond’


I keep hoping that we’ll get some new 50 Shades of Grey casting news any day now. Maybe today? Hopefully. Hopefully this week. Considering the production is supposed to start next week, I would hope that they get a signed contract soon. But until then, 50 Shades producers are playing the expectations game. Remember when EL James wanted Garrett Hedlund or Robert Pattinson or someone A-list or at the very least, solid B-list? Yeah. That was a pipe dream (the mother of all pipe dreams, as it turns out). Now producers are quietly going around to media outlets, claiming that what the Christian Grey role really, really needs now is a “fresh face”. Hahahaha.

The movie producer Michael De Luca was at Monday’s Hollywood Film Awards to accept a filmmaking prize, but he didn’t spend the early part of the evening celebrating. Instead, the veteran found himself being grilled about “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the E.L. James adaptation he’s producing, and how the project was faring after losing leading man Charlie Hunnam.

De Luca — who joked he’d been asked about “Fifty Shades” roughly “247 times” on the red carpet — wouldn’t comment on reports that actors Billy Magnussen and Jamie Dornan are the top contenders to step into the Christian Grey role. He did say, however, that he was adamant a newcomer would be best to star opposite Dakota Johnson, who has already been cast as Anastasia Steele.

“I feel like everyone has an idea of what these characters look like and sound like, so to present the world with fresh faces — where no pre-conceived notions or baggage come with it — is best,” he said. “It’s like casting Superman or James Bond. A fresh face is appropriate.”

Johnson, 24, remains on board. As for how the actress, daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, is handling the casting shake-up, De Luca said she remained eager to get on set, and he expressed confidence in her ability to play the sexually awakened Steele.

“I happen to think Dakota could have chemistry with a mailbox,” the producer said, adding that filming was still slated to begin Nov. 13. “But we’re going to help her out and hook her up with the right person.”

[From The LAT]

“To present the world with fresh faces… is best.” Especially when no one with any kind of name, profile or hope for career longevity wants to touch this part. Especially when producers have already offered the role to a half-dozen “name” actors, only to be rebuffed. Especially when the paycheck is so meager – Charlie Hunnam was only getting $125,000 for 50 Shades. Think about that. Also: “It’s like casting Superman or James Bond. A fresh face is appropriate.” HAHAHAHAHAHA.

Speaking of Charlie, he gave his first post-tap-out interview to E! News a few nights ago. Now his story is no longer “scheduling conflicts,” which everyone knew was BS from the beginning. Now he claims he dropped out because of “family issues”. Which could totally be the case, but why not say that from the beginning?

Charlie Hunnam is clearing the air. The Sons of Anarchy actor exclusively broke his silence to E! News after stepping down from the role of Christian Grey in the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. The Hollywood hunk made his first public appearance since the news broke at the 2nd annual “Hogs for Heart” event benefiting One Heart Source Education Programs in Africa at Mo’s Restaurant in Burbank, Calif. Charlie joined his SOA cast members as they hosted the evening’s festivities.

So how is he holding up since dropping out of the highly anticipated flick?

“I am doing good. I am just really concentrating on work. It’s been a really busy time,” he said. “I have had some family stuff going on so just trying to stay focused and stay positive and keep trying to do a good job at work and be with my family and stay positive.”

E! News has learned that Charlie’s father, Billy, had passed away in May of this year and that the actor traveled back to England to be with family at the time. Charlie’s currently wrapping up season six of the hit FX series and explained what he plans on doing before his final days as Jax Teller.

“Like I said, I’ve got some family stuff I have to tend to. So when I wrap the show, I am going to go to England and see my people and then I have a film that I am doing with Guillermo [del Toro]. So I am going to go and do that and concentrate on the final seasons of Sons.”

[From E! News]

He says more stuff about the charity event and it’s very nice and I buy that he has a good heart. But I still think there’s something sketchy going on with him. I didn’t know that his father had recently passed away, and if he feels like he needs to spend time with his family, then so be it and I think everyone understands that. What I don’t understand is why he didn’t take that into consideration before he signed on to play Christian Grey? There are conspiracies within conspiracies on this one.




Photos of Charlie and Jamie Dornan (the leading contender for Christian Grey), courtesy of WENN and Calvin Klein.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

44 Responses to “Producer on casting Christian Grey: ‘It’s like casting Superman or James Bond’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Anna says:

    “It’s like casting Superman or James Bond.” Except nobody wants THIS role.

    “I happen to think Dakota could have chemistry with a mailbox” – That’s really good, actually. Because she might have to play against one.

    • Eve says:

      “I happen to think Dakota could have chemistry with a mailbox” –

      That’s really good, actually. Because she might have to play against one.


  2. allons-y alonso says:

    “It’s like casting Superman or James Bond” – Exsqueeze me?!?!?!

    • Andrea says:

      Superman was created by two Jewish men in the Great Depression as an expression of hope. His story, though often misunderstood, is about adoption, humanity and love. The love story in the Superman mythos between Superman and Lois Lane is about dual identity, humanity and finding inspiration in someone who is different from you on the outside but similar in goals and emotion.

      Seeing Christian Grey compared to Supermam makes me want to throw myself off a cliff.

      • deehunny says:

        It’s cool another CB chica knows the true story of Superman.

        But I think I understood what the Producer was trying to get at. Besides damage control, the character has become iconic and therefore very hard to cast. Look at all the backlash that happened with Batman with Affleck.

  3. T.fanty says:

    Maybe his father passing made him realize he didn’t want to waste his time/talent doing petty, idiotic shite for a meagre pay cheque. I’m deadly serious. When my father died I absolutely rethought my life and all of the things that I thought were priorities just didn’t matter. It took me over a year to be able care about my work, and I like my job. Charlie has spent years in the US, away from his family, chasing a career. If that’s lost its lustre right now, I get that.

    • Nya says:

      “waste his time/talent doing petty, idiotic shite”

      But he was in Pacific Rim…………..

      • genevieve says:

        Hey! That was a fun popcorn flick – 50 Shades is just going to be a cringefest. Pacific Rim might not be the Iliad, but it’s not at all in the same category as 50 Shades.

      • allons-y alonso says:

        @genevieve The film adaptation of The Iliad ‘Troy’ was pretty rubbish too 😉

      • pretty says:

        But Pacific Rim was awesome !!! The visuals were just amazing. i watched it twice. once in IMAX 3d. that movie was just amazing..

      • magda says:

        I liked Pacific Rim very much. It was stupid but very enjoyable – perfect summer blockbuster

      • Jen says:

        Well I would say the stupidity overwhelmed the “fun” of it. I didn’t enjoy it at all. All the acting was horrible and the plot was wretched.

    • mom2two says:

      Losing his Dad in May is really still very fresh. When one is grieving the motto is it really is best not to make big decisions in the first year after a big loss.
      T. Fanty, I am sorry about the loss of your father and I believe you are correct about Charlie. My father passed away almost 4 years ago and like you, it took me a long time to really care about the things that I did not consider priorities.
      Charlie did make Pacific Rim before his father died and my condolences to him on his loss.

  4. Yep says:

    lol No it isn’t. Don’t lie.

    People actually WANT to play James Bond and Superman.

  5. gilmore says:

    No this basic b-tch did not compare this porn to the biggest and well be loved franchises right now.

  6. Sabrina says:

    I definitely agree that a fresh face would be best and this is what they should have been looking for all along when casting these roles.

  7. pam246 says:

    I laugh every time somebody associated with the film claims that every actor wants to be a part of this film yet only no names are attached.

  8. LB says:

    I don’t think he’s shady. I’m wondering if he had an agent in his ear telling him what a good move this would be when deep down, he wasn’t sure. The studio was so eager to announce things too. It just all piled up unfortunately.

    He did the right thing, though, ultimately. Not because it’s a stupid book, etc but because his heart wasn’t in it. I don’t care if he offers up excuse after excuse. The reason is clear. He wasn’t feeling it.

    • Anname says:

      I read something about that, but I forgot where. He and Garrett Hedlund share the same agent, and when Garrett passed on it, the agent pushed Charlie for the role. Sounds like he got talked into it, then balked once he read the script and started getting the scrutiny.

    • gogoGorilla says:

      I totally agree with you. I think he was wooed by tales of A-list stardom, exposure, blahblah. Maybe he hadn’t read the book and just knew it had buzz–then saw the script.

      I don’t think there’s anything shady or conspiracy-worthy about running as far as you can from this shyte.

    • grabbyhands says:

      THANK YOU! Reading these stories about how he’s suddenly so shady is annoying. If he had a questionable rep going into this whole thing, that would have been one thing, but he didn’t. He made a bad choice and extricated himself from it. The only reason anyone cared for more than a second is that this junkpile of a project is very visible.

    • Badirene says:

      Totally agree he was right to run from this mess, the producers wife has been slagging him off on twitter since he dropped out, how anyone can think that Charlie is the one that is not professional is beyond me.

    • lucy2 says:

      I agree – it’s probably easy to get seduced by the idea of huge stardom, to lead a movie everyone’s talking about, and to agree without fully knowing what you’re getting into.
      I don’t think him leaving the project was shady (actors leave projects ALL THE TIME), but rather I think it’s smart.
      Especially hearing how little they were going to pay him too!

    • Axis2ClusterB says:

      I agree with this. Charlie is very well known for being an awesome person. I think people are looking for shadiness where there just isn’t any.

  9. Deb says:

    Just let this mess die. Put it back on the shelf with the other crap that never made it to the screen

  10. Mia4S says:

    Superman or James Bo..hahahahaha! This 50 shades stuff really is comedy gold!

    The Charlie stuff is definitely a bit…off. I’m very sorry for his loss (been there!) but, well the initial PR game made it seem like the chemistry and everything was such “magic” that a lot of people (some of them with power…and powerful friends) have been left embarrassed. Still was probably the right move though.

  11. linlin says:

    The funny thing is, that while Daniel Craig or Henry Cavill weren’t A-List before they were cast as James Bond or Superman, they weren’t totally unknown either, they had their own (smallish) fanbase and were well-known an respected in the industry. I doubt that this will be the case with whoever will be casted for 50 shades.

  12. Tig says:

    Going with an unknown should have been their mantra from day one. Of all the newest “trot outs”, Jamie D looks the best.

  13. grabbyhands says:

    Oh STFU!!!

    In five years, your movies(if more than one gets made, which is debatable)are going to be nothing more than a Razzie award winning drinking game and a hilariously pathetic footnote in movie history.

    And can we stop with the Charlie conspiracy stories-the reality is this guy has had a good rep with everyone leading up to this and it seems pretty obvious that he made a poor choice about this and allowed himself to get caught up in it before he realized what he had really gotten himself into.

  14. eliza says:

    This movie needs to not happen.

  15. Bodhi says:

    I very seriously doubt there are a whole bunch of conspiracies here. He agreed to the movie & then changed his mind, it happens literally ALL THE TIME in Hollywood & if he were being shady, there would be more evidence. He obviously either hadn’t signed a contract or, if he had, there was a get-out clause. Whatever his “real” reason was, it was clearly legit enough for the director & producer(s).

    • Dommy Dearest says:

      I’ve been on this site for years now and I always love reading yours, Eve, and J. Eyre (spelling I’m sorry D:) comments. You’re always practical and make points. Such as this comment.


  16. MollyB says:

    I wonder why the pay is so, so low? It can’t be a terribly expensive movie to make and from what I understand it’s expected to do well at the box office, despite the terrible source material.

  17. AmyLynne says:

    I’ll be in my bunk with those pictures of my baby Jamie bye.

    But for real though. This is such a joke.

  18. Maddie says:

    Shades is going to be another Anne Rice’s Exit to Eden and Showgirls combined and sitting in that $5.00 bin of Dvds in Walmart.

    No mom is going to let her daughter see this movie and no movie theater is going to let them in…….even with the wide fanbase this book has there are more people who purchased the book to be in the in crowd and didn’t even like the book

    Most people on blogs state that they read the first book struggled through the second book and didn’t even read the last book.

  19. kim says:

    I’m not a grandma, teen or desperate housewife so I haven’t read the books, is it really that hard to find someone? Why don’t they do a cattle call? New talent may work.

  20. Dommy Dearest says:


    The producer sure is reaching with that quote isn’t he? Please, people actually want to do Superman or Bond. No one has wanted to do 50 Shades of Gray. I was going to watch it due to Charlie being in it (Pacific Rim was awesome and I do enjoy SoA) but now I have no desire or urge to watch the movie.
    Best costume ever for this movie

  21. TherapyCranes says:

    I didnt read any of this. I just read the title and literally laughed out goddamn loud. BWWWWWHAHAHAHAHAHA. WUT

  22. Decloo says:

    Why don’t they just give the part to Ian Somerholder?He actually wants the part. Presumably he will actively promote it no matter how awful it is. Plus, he is the one all the fans want. The producers must know by now that they are not going to get any big actor for this. They should cut their losses and give the fans what they want.

  23. Tiffany says:

    You know who would get my $10 for this crapfest…Kellen Lutz. I know people would side eye me but think about it. The interviews will be GOLD!!!

  24. Stef Leppard says:

    I didn’t know he was British!!

  25. Cora says:

    Variety is exclusively reporting that Jamie Dornan has been given the role of Christian Grey. They say it’s a done deal.