Universal Casts Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson in ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

By September 2, 2013
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Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy

Last year, a large battle between the studios broke out to secure the rights to adapt E.L. James’ popular erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” for the big screen. Universal ended up winning, and now the studio has officially cast its two leads: Dakota Johnson and Charlie Hunnam.

Dakota Johnson

Author E.L. James tweeted (via Deadline) that Johnson – best known for roles in The Five-Year Engagement and the TV series “Ben and Kate” – will play the role of Anastasia Steele, a recent college grad who gets involved in a kinky dominant/submissive relationship with a handsome 27-year-old billionaire named Christian Grey.

Esquire UK

Minutes after Johnson’s casting was announced, James tweeted a follow-up that confirmed the rumors that “Sons of Anarchy” and Pacific Rim star Charlie Hunnam will play Grey. They’re both signed for three films, so even though this phenomenon seemed to die as quickly as it caught fire last summer, we’re likely in for years’ worth of erotic romance between these two on the big screen.

I haven’t read the books, but from what I hear there’s some pretty hot and heavy stuff going on in them, and producers Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca (The Social Network) are looking to secure an R rating, so they’ve got their work cut out for them. Sam Taylor-Johnson (Nowhere Boy) will direct, and Kelly Marcel (“Terra Nova,” Saving Mr. Banks) wrote the script.

Keep in mind that this book started out as Twilight fan fiction with author E.L. James writing under the pen name “Snowqueens Icedragon,” so we’re not exactly expecting anything brilliant when this movie hits theaters next summer. Have you read the books? Do these actors sound like they’ll be good fits for the characters? Sound off in the comments below.

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at ScreenRant.com, FirstShowing.net, MySpace.com, GeekTyrant.com, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.