The new Christian Grey casting search has already started, and fans of the upcoming “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie are more desperate than ever to learn the identity of our new lover of one Anastasia Steele. USA Today confirms this Tuesday, Oct. 15, that with fans’ top picks set, Universal Studios and Focus Features are beginning to look for a sexy male lead to replace Charlie Hunnam and star opposite Dakota Johnson.
Although some “Fifty Shades of Grey” readers may still be in shock that such a tremendous casting change as Hunnam leaving the film took place, a Wrap source said that the recasting of the lead role may in fact be the best thing for the fanbase and for the hotly anticipated film itself, slated for an Aug. 1, 2014 release.
The reasoning behind finding a new Christian Grey being what needed to happen? We need a Christian (and an Ana for that matter, though Dakota Johnson is reportedly feeling overwhelmed and having a “tough time” in light of the media pressure) that is 100% inside the character and titular role.
”If Charlie Hunnam had any reluctance, then it would show in the performance. And it would have been the fans who would have really suffered," says TheWrap columnist. "Better to do it now than to wait until production started."
Although quite a few readers may still be vying for a big actor like Ryan Gosling for the part (though he is still a contender, as nothing is confirmed), it’s likely that a smaller name actor with a more minor following will take the lead casting role in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie. From Alex Pettyfer to Garrett Hedlund to Henry Cavill, who knows? One such star who fit EL James’ likes and this bill, however? Charlie Hunnam, leading the insider to think another actor of similar caliber will be chosen in the latest search for a new Christian Grey.
"If you are a star, there's really not enough to gain here to take your clothes off in front of the camera," says the Wrap columnist. "This is a star-making role. You need someone who wants to be a star."
Based on Internet polls and support from fans around the web, here are some recent top picks for the new Christian Grey opposite Dakota Johnson for Anastasia Steele (though her role might also be in jeopardy; see why here, fellow fans).
• Matt Bomer.
The sexy White Collar star is being put forth on a Change.org petition, which now has more than 87,000 signatures.
But Bomer has never expressed an interest in the part.
"Bomer's campaign has been fan-driven. He has not been actively seeking the role," says Sneider. "And he also has a busy TV schedule."
• Ian Somerhalder.
The star of CW's The Vampire Diaries has been another fan favorite who continues to top Christian Grey fan polls.
"People still vocalize about wanting to see him in the lead," says Sean O'Connell, a blogger for the movie ticket site Fandango.com. "The Vampire Diaries is such a hot television show and he just fits the picture of who people want in that part with that dark, mysterious and very handsome face."
• Stephen Amell.
The star of CW's Arrow already said during a Facebook Q&A earlier this year that he met with the Shades filmmakers to discuss the part. He's got the looks and the abs.
"And it fits the pattern of what the filmmakers are looking for: stars with a small-screen following," says O'Connell.
• Robert Pattinson.
Okay, this a long shot. Still, reports surfaced that Pattinson was James' first choice for the part. There was buzz and there is a clear audience connection between Twilight and Fifty Shades.
"It would break the Internet. Completely. With positive and negative reaction," says O'Connell.
But even Twilight author Stephenie Meyer said in an interview earlier this year that "I just really cannot see him doing that."
MTV, meanwhile, offers this list of actors:
Given that he's frequently without clothes on "True Blood," having to film the explicit scenes from E.L. James' novel probably wouldn't make the Swedish actor blush. "True Blood" ends next year, so Skarsgard might be looking for some new project to leave his female fans drooling. Then again, he's slated to film "The Giver" with Meryl Streep and Taylor Swift later this year, the same time that "Fifty Shades" is expected to film.
Seduction is nothing new for the Irish actor. He first caught movie lovers' attention as he seduced Kirsten Dunst in "Marie Antoinette." The former model then popped up on ABC's "Once Upon A Time," playing The Huntsman, and later on U.K. detective series "The Fall." Dornan is just under the radar enough that starring in a film like "Fifty Shades" would help raise his profile.
Given that Theo first made headlines in the U.S. for dying while having sex on "Downton Abbey," now might be his chance to prove he's got the stamina to do just about anything in the bedroom. However, the British actor is getting ready for a big breakout when "Divergent" hits theaters March 20, 2014, so it seems unlikely he's looking for another project to make him a household name.
Most recently, Christian appeared on the Starz series, "Magic City," as well as the latest adaptation of William Shakespeare's classic "Romeo And Juliet," playing Romeo's pal, Mercutio. He has several projects in the works, including the upcoming Lily Collins/Sam Claflin movie, "Love, Rosie," but none seem to have the buzz of "Fifty Shades." Playing Christian Grey just might end up putting his celebrity right in the black.”
Just as it was with Charlie Hunnam, there will likely be happy and disappointed fans with the new casting. Hopefully, however, EL James and the “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie team will find that perfect CEO for readers and film goers everywhere.