Charlie Hunnam to Star Opposite Dakota Johnson in ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

Charlie Hunnam

Casting for the Universal-Focus project announced minutes apart

In a one-two punch for “Fifty Shades of Grey” news, Universal and Focus Features announced Monday that Charlie Hunnam will star opposite Dakota Johnson as the film adaptation’s male lead Christian Grey.

The book’s author, E.L. James, teased the news about Hunnam (TV’s “Sons of Anarchy”) only moments after the announcement of the Johnson casting.

The storyline will require Hunnam and Johnson — a former IMG model — to participate in plenty of heated sex scenes, though it’s unclear how explicit the film will be. Hunnam is best known for his role as Jax Teller on “Sons of Anarchy,” and has also appeared in “Pacific Rim” and “Queer as Folk.”

SEE ALSO: With ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Casting in Place, Universal and Focus Can Start to Stoke Marketing Heat

“Fifty Shades of Grey” is being directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson (“Nowhere Boy”) and produced by Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti, along with James. Kelly Marcel penned the script.

Focus will release the film Stateside Aug. 1, 2014. Universal is handling international distribution.

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  1. mary says:

    look forward to the line……Laters, baby !!!!!

  2. Mada says:

    Can’t wait to see the film! :)

  3. SilverM says:

    I am over the moon happy, that they have casted Charlie Hunnam for 50 Shades of Grey.

    He is a TERRIFIC Actor and he is very HANDSOME. He acts with such conviction. He makes you believe in what you see and who you are watching. He is ABSOLUTELY PERFECT for this part. I LOVE him in Sons of Anarchy and I think it is about time that he get’s a big movie role.

    Why shouldn’t an under dog have gotten this part such as Charlie Hunnam. I am tired of seeing the same big name faces in on the big Blockbusters. He deserves this role and I am absolutely positive that he will do an OUTSTANDING job.

    I will be one of the many fans of his to see him in this movie the day it comes to theaters.

    Congrats Charlie and Good Luck.

    A Big Fan,

  4. Sarah Chappie says:

    Love this cast, I am so excited to see the movie. Charlie is Grey! OMG I can’t wait. Dakota for Anna is great as well I wouldnt’ want anyone I know and Alexis from Gilmore Girls are you kidding me, NO WAY.

  5. Still not reading this series- but would def see if Charlie is starring!

  6. Shoopy says:

    You people are IN THE DARK if you think Charlie is wrong for the part. Have you seen his sex scenes in Sons of Anarchy??? Oh, he’s got sex appeal aright! And to the person whom said he is too old,REALLY???? He’s nly 31, Bozo! Would you rather he be 18? I feel those of you that don’t find him appealing or “too rough ” looking A: Never watched Sons Of Anarchy and B: Don’t realize that women like the “bad boy” thing. I wouldn’t want to “be” with a wimpy, pansy. Char is perfect for this role! I wish Mila Kunis were playing opposite though. Who knows, maybe Dakota will do well. She’s quite fortunate to be opposite him. By the way, this is way better than Ben Afleck

    • Sherry says:

      I agree with you Shoopy. Give Charlie a chance. His character in Sons of Anarchy is very intense. His passion, his drive, his love for Tara… It all makes sense. I don’t think either one of them has “fit the Hollywood mold” yet. So, casting two up-and-comers is brilliant. I think if Ben Affleck was cast, I wouldn’t see it. Matt Bomer may look like your ideal “Christian Grey,” but can he act the part. Can he make you believe that he IS Christian Grey. I think Charlie can. Charlie is going to nail it – literally. For those of you who say you are not going to see the movie based off of casting, then shame on you. You are already invested if you read all the books. Obviously, give these people a chance to show you what they’ve got. I think one should see the movie with an open mind and if you want Christian Grey, you’ll have him in August 2014. Way to go Charlie!

  7. marie says:

    Seriously …. the casting members should be castrated from this …disappointed. ..dvd express

  8. Jane Doe says:

    I don’t know about the girl… But #1 hair dye goes a long way… #2 those of you saying he isn’t good looking enough, or is too rough looking obviously haven’t looked at google images of him. Super hot!

  9. Rose lee says:

    These two are wrong for the parts. Chris or Liam Hemsworth should have been chosen for Christian Grey. This is one movie I will not see. : (

  10. Rianna Lane says:

    If they won’t make any last minute changes, then I swear I won’t watch it.. I don’t think some of the fans won’t watch it either! DISAPPOINTED!

  11. maxine says:

    can’t please everyone. perfect casting of eye-candy charlie.

  12. So Upset says:

    I am soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo mad! I don’t even know if to watch this movie now! This guy is not cute! I could care less about his chemistry with the female actress. If you’re going to choose nobodies at least let them be hot. Do they not understand that every girl who’s read the book has imagined Christian Grey as theirs!? As a gorgeous man which baggage who we’ve all fell for? Really? Come again! I’m so mad! I read this book hoping a movie would take my breath away are you kidding me !!!!

  13. shaina says:

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, with that being said let me voice mine. Yes EL James and the rest of the people who are affiliated with the film knew who the fans wanted. All kind of names were being thrown out there some of the most popular being Matt Bomer, Ian Somerhalder, Christian Bale and many many more for Christian Grey. For Ana the main actresses I read about were Alexis bledel and Amanda Seyfried. Now Charlie & Dakota may not be drop dead gorgeous BUT EL said they have amazing chemistry.& crazy fact IAN wasnt even in the running. & other actors are under other contracts. Doing a movie like this requires alot more than looks. Rant over

  14. sez says:

    R u kidding me. I won’t be. Watchin this movie now. Charlie has no sex appeal. Thought Christian was supposed to be the most georgous man alive. Wat a joke. He is ugly with a fat face and looks a lot older that 33. I will not waste my time with this film.

    • Rebecca says:

      Wow, really?!? You must not have ever seen SOA because he definitely plays the part of a rugged, sexy bad boy VERY well. And he’s a decent actor (who cleans up well), so it will definitely be interesting to see him in a role like this. And this just might be what catapults him to stardom, at least amongst all the horny housewives. I just hope the movie is at least better than the books, I wasn’t a fan of the novels.

  15. Jessica says:

    As a fan of the book, I look forward as to how these actors will bring to life the ever known Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.I am rather disappointed in the negative reviews due to the fact that we have no idea as to what these actors will or won’t bring to the table. When I first read the trilogy, Chris Hemsworth is who I imagined as Christian Grey, so finding out that it will be played by Charlie Hunnam,I was rather excited. To me, those two are similiar and close to age. Grey is a 27 year old man and Charlie is in his early 30’s which is perfect if you ask me so for those of you saying “he’s too old” are being bit dramatic. Grey is a complex man and so is Jax. I can see Charlie bringing alot of Jax Teller’s complexity or as people have been saying “dark side” to his chatacter as Grey with a smooth transition. If Charlie and/or James did not feel like he could pull this character off, then I’m sure he would not have accepted/landed the part. As for Dakota, I don’t know much of her work and I’m very curious as to what she can do. Hell, none of us will know til AFTER we have seen the movie. I hope for the best but I’m not going to get all butt hurt even if it is a disaster. This movie wont have an affect on my life as I hope for the viewers, as well. Remember it is JUST A MOVIE!!!!

  16. The Casting is horrible. Charlie is not even goodlooking enough for the role unless they change the story.

  17. lin says:

    OMG!!! GENIUS CASTING!!! SO Gorgeous

  18. Tiffany says:


  19. Natasha says:

    I had no interest in this movie till I saw Charlie Hunnam was cast. He does a wonderful job on Sons of Anarchy and anyone saying he isn’t sexy enough hasn’t watched that show.

  20. cherylcgj says:

    E.L. created the illusion and E.L. destroyed it. Hunnam looks like the wrestler Triple H. He looks to old for the part; he is stocky and rough around the edges. Johnson is totally wrong. She looks as innocent as a well spent whore. Why?

  21. Lisa says:

    Excellent choices. Can’t wait! She looks very natural as a brunette. he looks rough for sons of anarchy. These people know what they want.

  22. Bobby says:

    Charlie Hunnam? Dakota Johnson? Let us all see what hair, make-up and wardrobe do with these two. In the books, Christian was so gorgeous, even waitresses had a hard time concentrating while taking his order. Charlie Hunnam? Someone better slap some color on his hair and style it, shave his face as slick as a baby’s butt and do something with those eyebrows…with a little Botox, proper make-up and a crisp white shirt, we might have ourselves someone who could kinda pass for Christian. Dakota Johnson? Well, darker hair for sure. Did the casting crew actually read the books?

  23. Angela says:

    Charlie WHO??

  24. Linda says:

    I was against Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep in Bridges of Madison County…and it sucked. Can’t imagine Charlie and Dakota setting the world on fire in 50 Shades…but I still love Charlie to death.

  25. Maya says:

    I’m sorry, I really am, but Dakota Johnson looks like Sharon Stone and Gillian Anderson’s lovechild, if it were possible for said lovechild to be in her late 30s. I know she’s only 23, but she doesn’t look it. Nor does she look like an innocent, virginal Anastasia, with big, blue eyes too large for her face and an awkward, gauche, understated beauty. That’s not Dakota. Even if they dyed her hair brunette and went out of their way to make her look the part, she just doesn’t.
    As for Charlie, where to begin? He appears far too old with that awkward, overgrown beard, and without it looks like a schoolboy. Even in his most “bad boy” role, he never even struck me as a remote possibility for the dark, S&M loving dom that is Christian Grey. Nor does he have that obvious, ubiquitous beauty that smacks you in the face even from a distance. No scorching, molten gaze, no unruly, dark hair, no effortless way of carrying himself (on the contrary, he has a very unfortunate way of walking which never changes in any of his roles).
    Goodbye, expectations. Goodbye, imagination. The cruel reality is upon us. And its name is bad casting choices.
    And in order to preserve what’s left of my fantasies, I’m making a decision not to go see the movie, and to avoid every mention of it. It’s the only way to go.

  26. Velvetdawg says:

    The reactions to this casting are really amusing. I remember when Robert Pattinson was cast as Edward in Twilight. Similar reaction from the “fans of the books” and a protest petition of 75,000 signatures to boot. Look how that turned out.

  27. Kelly says:

    What happened to Ryan gosling :-( x

  28. Lara says:

    But why did they not even bother to do any justice to the books, or take the fans’ wishes into consideration? I’m still having trouble processing this and I’m inclined to believe it a joke more than anything, because it makes no sense. And don’t get me wrong, I was the first to root for the unknowns rather than “top contenders”. But this is just a huge slap in the face. Neither of the two resembles the description of Christian or Ana in the slightest. And all the makeovers and all the chemistry in the world can’t make up for the very obvious fact that they are wrong. I just wish I knew what these decisions were based on. It makes no sense.

  29. elaine says:

    Very sad when you pick two actors who are nothing like christian and ana who are sexy and goodlooking. Was looking forward to the movie now I’m not.

  30. ju says:


  31. marie says:

    I think everyone is being far too judgemental when really you have no idea what will be done. I think these actors may just surprise you! I for one absolutely loved these books and don’t care who the actors are providing they act accordingly and providing Charlie has the fatal charm I expect from Christian!

  32. Kathleen says:

    horrendous choices. I think it was made very clear who the fans wanted to see in the film adaptation and at the end of the day, what the fans want, the fans get, otherwise there are no fans! good luck to them, they are going to need it! I am very dissapointed, as a huge fan of the book and reading up online often to keep track on who was considered for casting, i never thought that these two actors would be picked, they are nothing like christian and ana, not once have i seen fan apprieciation towards these actors for the roles! total and utter mistake on the producers and directors behalf. I just hope they make it better than what i am expecting because i loved the books and would be very sad to see these get turned in to crappy movies, i really want the movies to be fantastic, i just cant see it happening anymore, and im sure im not the only one who thinks this!

  33. shelini ramsook says:

    very disappointed in the actors casted. I know that usually the movies are not made with the exact detail of a book but christian and ana are completely different from charlie and dakota. ana is supposed to be young and christian is supposed to be good looking. the essence of the book will npw change because the characters will be dipicted so differently from the description in the book.

  34. joey says:

    So very disappointed in the choices for the cast for the movie. It will be such a let down if I even go see it now.

  35. Laura Herzog says:

    Ahem….I would Like to announce that I would pay to watch Charlie Hunnam do laundry.

    • racy says:

      They took some of the fans wishes into consideration – some of us love Charlie and think he is pretty sexy. What’s with the resemblance thing? Do you think only dark haired men are sexy? That is a slap in the face to the other men of this world. Don’t know why they picked the female lead, but if you ever watched Sons of Anarchy, you would know why Charlie was picked. Wow!!

    • M Kay says:

      Lol…agreed! Now I want to see the movie:)

    • well shant be going to watch movie very dissapointed in the actors casted he is not christian grey and she is no anna gonna be lot of very dissapointed people who wont go watch this movie now

  36. Robie Gardner says:

    I have a very strong feeling that the casting choices came down to a matter of economics — what actors wanted in fees to play the parts and what the studio’s assessment was of how much revenue the film would generate. The books sold well, but offered the advantage of being able to read them in private. The privacy aspect will no avail itself until the movie is released on disc. In that form it will likely outdo its performance in theaters.

  37. Janet Russell says:

    I was hoping they would cast someone who was sexy in a suit like Skarsgard or Bomer. I know I won’t be spending money on a movie ticket now.

  38. Catey Smith says:

    Christian Bale woulda been perfect!

  39. TerriElizabeth Clark-Miles says:

    I think that these two actors will be perfect for the parts of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. I don’t believe that Matt Borner has the charm to play Christian Grey.

  40. Amanda Houghton says:

    So disappointed in the choice of actors to play the roles. Like everyone else said neither of them fit the roles and descriptions in the book. Charlie definitely is not good looking enough to play Christian and she looks nothing like what the book depicted Anastasia to look like. I was so looking forward to this movie now it’s ruined. Ian Somerhalder would have been perfect.

  41. Marc says:

    Obviously the author had some say in who would play the roles so all the people saying that it wasnt spot on need to stop. Obviously she and her directors can see something that the rest of u cant. Not going to a movie just because of the actors that are in it is stupid. And trashing a book series u havent read is even dumber. Personally i could care less who plays in the movie.

    • Kathleen says:

      To be frank good sir, your opinion is invalid as the author described in her books two totally different people than the actors picked to play the roles. Therefore, regardless of whether or not she had a say, she made a bad choice.I am, however, assuming that you have read the books (hopefully) and will then also be hoping like the rest of the fandom of fifty shades, that they give these actors the best freaking make over transformation anyone has ever seen, otherwise, it totally ruins the illusion that the books have given people of the main characters. Its not who the actors are, its the way they act and how they look that matters, because after all, looks are everything in these books and they are biggest thing when it comes to books being made into movies. Otherwise, have a nice day and enjoy the film when it comes! :-)

  42. Robie Gardner says:

    What a thoroughly disappointing choice of actors to star in this movie! Matt Borner would have been Christian Grey in the flesh. Whomever did the casting of Dakota Johnson and Charlie Hunnam needs to find another job, for that person has no eye for detail, nor elan for the spirit of the characters to be portrayed. Poor, poor, poor.

  43. Danielle says:

    This movie is going to blow… Dakota is beautiful but not Anastasia Steele.. Shes blonde to start. So is Charlie. you just cannot modify this book. Its very detailed. If you arent going to be as detailed do not bother.. will not go and see it.. wont waste the money.

  44. Aimee says:

    I think the two r a good choice. was hoping for Charile myself.. can’t wait to see how they work together.. luv it.

  45. Melissa says:

    Disappointed! Charlie is not near good looking enough to pull off Christians character. Also he is not a believable actor.

  46. MLove says:

    I’m curious to see how’s going to turn out, I’m definitely not tripping about who’s playing the part unless they f*** it up! Very anxious for the movie to come out!

  47. ML says:

    Neither one of these people even fit the author’s descriptions. It seems like there should be some attempt to fit the book. I just can’t imagine….

  48. lyndsey says:

    oh my word them two?
    pfft sorry wont be watching, He is to old to play a young man, he is no where near good looking enough!
    Someone like alexander skarsgard or channing tatum then yes but this guy ? nah sorry.

  49. John Doe says:

    noooo…not planning on seeing the movie but all the promos and commercials for the movie will make me never see Jax Teller in the same light again….

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