Just a week and a half after Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam abdicated his role as Christian Grey in Sam Taylor-Johnson’s big screen adaptation of E.L. James’ mommy porn hit Fifty Shades of Grey, citing scheduling conflicts, the movie has found a new whipmaster.
The Wrap reports that Irish actor Jamie Dornan will fill the role of the billionaire bondage enthusiast opposite Dakota Johnson in the erotic thriller due out next year.
The 31-year-old most recently known for Once Upon a Time and former Calvin Klein model seems to fill some of the requirements that Fifty Shades fans hoped their knight in white latex would possess, which Hunnam sadly lacked — namely, dark hair; a pretty, chiseled face; and a million easily accessible underwear pics. Whether the producers factored in that he’s totally non-threatening, that he comes from a show that critic Tim Goodman said “looks and feels hokey,” or that he can’t even grow a proper beard, we’ll never know. (Though those who remember him on The Fall say he’s a great choice for the role.)
The rabid Fifty Shades fanbase made their objections to Charlie attaining the role known early on, with online petitions springing up suggesting that everyone — from Dornan to Clint Eastwood’s son, Scott, to White Collar star Matt Bomer — take on the role.
While the predominantly male Sons of Anarchy fans might have begrudgingly filled seats to see Charlie Hunnam, Dornan’s casting plays entirely to female viewers. How can the producers save this from becoming a girls-night-out-only thing? They’ll have to do something drastic to get even a single guy in the door now.
Swapping out the film’s female lead seems like the most natural solution. Dakota Johnson getting whipped may tickle some people’s fancies, but make it Sasha Grey getting whipped, and you’ve got yourself a hit.
Now if the studio could only get their hands on Michael Bay…