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

Dakota Johnson Charlie Hunnam 50 Shades

Universal will release the film Aug. 1, 2014

Dakota Johnson, the 23-year-old daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, has landed the steamy lead role of Anastasia Steele in Universal’s and Focus Features’ adaptation of E.L. James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

Charlie Hunnam, who stars in TV’s “Sons of Anarchy,” was cast as the male lead Christian Grey.

James tweeted the news of both castings Monday morning.

Johnson had a small but memorable role in “The Social Network” before appearing in last year’s “21 Jump Street.” She’s currently shooting a modern-day re-telling of Shakespeare’s “Cymbeline.”

The storyline of “Fifty Shades” will require the former IMG model to participate in plenty of heated sex scenes, though it’s unclear how explicit the film will be. It seems unlikely that the numerous playful S&M scenes depicted in the book could be depicted with an “R” rating, so it could end up as one of the highest-profile NC-17 pics yet.

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

“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.

Uni and Focus had spent the last month and a half searching for its two leads following Taylor-Johnson being tapped as director.

SEE ALSO: Can Sam Taylor-Johnson Light a Fire Under ’50 Shades of Grey’?

Hunnam had been offered the role with sources telling Variety he initially turned it down, though he reconsidered after having met with studio heads a little over a week ago to talk about the role.

Johnson, meanwhile, was among a handful of girls placed on a short list — which included Alicia Vikander, Imogeen Poots and Shailene Woodley — before finally landing the part.

The casting comes with plenty of time to spare as production isn’t expected to start till the end of October to meet the Aug. 1, 2014, release date.

The project does pose a few uncertainties, including the film’s rating, as well as just how willing will women be to venture to the theater to see the risque pic.

That said, “Fifty Shades” still is one of the most buzzed-about properties out there, which makes it an easy risk to take.

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  1. Supertrand says:

    Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele? Are you kidding me? Anastasia is supposed to be a woman brimmed with temptation. Dakota is nowhere near that persona. El James I hate you for that. Charlie is okay to me as the lead role. But Dakota is a foul choice.

    Anyway, talking about upcoming movies, you might wanna know why Justice League hasn’t started prodcution. Here are the reasons why. A must read!


  2. Abutterfly says:

    What? seriously? Did they just write “project does pose a few uncertainties… just how willing will women be to venture to the theater to see the risque pic.” WOW! So we women can read about steamy sex but not WATCH it? The question is, will this movie hold up to our extremely high sex-pectations? I’m sure we’ve all created amazing visualizations.

  3. Ed Stein says:

    “Handful of girls”? Seriously? Dial back the sexism, please.

  4. Catherine Mostly says:

    It’s hysterical. It’s just like when Robert Pattinson was cast in Twilight. Everybody hated the idea until the first marketing images were released – then BOOM, head over heels in LOVE, LoL! How do you suppose ’50 Shades of Grey’ POSSIBLY be inspired by Twilight? Check this out: Why is Twilight So Addictive to Read as a Book or Watch as a Movie. ;) hub.me/afKNf

  5. Cyndi R says:

    Never will pay to see the movie, very sad, they do not even go with the characters in the book. Remember all the office girls are blond, Anna is not a blond so now we dye the hair on both of them but it will never be what I read. SO SAD.

  6. patty1064 says:

    If they make it…they will come…..

  7. TJ says:

    How willing? Are you living in 1956?

  8. harry georgatos says:

    an obvious choice for director should have gone to Adrian Lyne who shot the underrated classic sex-boiler 9 1/2 WEEKS.

  9. mike says:

    Perfect! Good choices

  10. The Kingslayer says:

    Jax you’ve let SAMCRO down.

  11. williem says:

    They look like brother and sister.

  12. ju says:

    She is fine as Anna…….BUT and I mean a BIG BUT!!! HE DOES NOT HAVE THAT CHRISTIAN LOOK or ENERGY….AT ALL!!!!!! Maybe you see something we don’t? After reading all the books….this guy IS NOT WHAT I SEE!!!

  13. LOL says:

    They should have cast Prince William and Kate Middleton. Trust me, this piece of crap is going to need all the absurdity it can get just to justify its existence in cinematic form. Go mad or go home.

  14. Maria says:

    AWFUL. That is all.

  15. blip says:

    “Playful S&M scenes”…? Oh, you mean the repetitive, embarrassing, clumsy, hideously written scenes of (borderline) abuse.” Sorry: you had me confused for a second. Now sign James Deen to play Christian Grey (though it seems to me that Deen has too much sense and taste to get involved with this crap), and let’s get it over with.

  16. Glenn C. says:

    I don’t think she is that attractive. A good actress but in a role like this one attractiveness is important too.

    • williem says:

      She’s fine looking. She looks like her father, who was a hottie. But she’s not a very good actress from what I’ve seen and she’s cast opposite a guy who looks like he’s related to her. Oh well, it’s an awful book anyway. It was never going to be good.

  17. Bob C. says:

    GOOD CHOICE! When I heard she was on the short list I was delighted. Wonderful actress, wonderful person.

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