‘Fifty Shades’ Casting Search Heats Up; Charlie Hunnam Stays in the Mix

Fifty Shades of Grey Casting

Alicia Vikander, Imogen Poots among actresses studio likes

A decision could still be a few weeks away on who will play Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey in Universal and Focus Features’ adaptation of E.L. James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey,” but studios are getting closer to deciding who would be the right fit for the frisky lead roles.

Sources tell Variety that in recent weeks, execs have shown strong interest in four actresses to play Steele: Alicia Vikander, Imogen Poots, Shailene Woodley and Dakota Johnson. Sources say there is no front-runner right now,  and more actresses could still be brought in, but these names have consistently been mentioned as favorites of director Sam Taylor-Johnson and studio execs.

As for Grey, Twitchfilm reported earlier this week that the studio was showing interest in “Sons of Anarchy” star Charlie Hunnam — though his reps and the studio denied the story, saying no offer had been delivered. Variety has since learned that Hunnam actually passed on the role last week, but may now be reconsidering and is expected to meet with execs today.

The studio has met with actors including “Magic City” thesp Christian Cooke and “Divergent” actor Theo James, but has decided to go older, looking for a thesp in his early 30s instead of mid-to-late 20s.

Universal and Focus had no comment. Sources at the studio insist no offers have been made, and it’s unlikely a decision would be made on the actress until bizzers return to town after Labor Day Weekend, although an actor could be named sooner.

While there’s some feeling that Uni and Focus may be taking too long to make a decision, in reality there’s plenty of time to shoot and wrap the film before its Aug. 1, 2014.

Production is expected to start at the end of October.

Without significant special effects, action or setpieces, a romance doesn’t take long to shoot, so it’s key to concentrate on making sure the chemistry is right between the leads. Universal romantic drama “Endless Love,” for example, finished production at the beginning of July and will be ready for a Valentine’s Day release.

Kelly Marcel adapted the “Fifty Shades” script with James, Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti producing.

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  1. Cristal Moses says:

    Ian Somerhalder NEEDS to be our Christian Grey! I think majority of the women out there can agree with me! I vote Ian.

  2. Debora Blair says:

    He has alot to prove. Can he really pull off a Christian Grey? Not in my book. But I’m willling to see if he’s a good enough actor to make us “feel the character”. Can’t wait for August 2014. Signed, wife.

  3. Bobby says:

    Charlie Hunnam? In the book, Christian was so gorgeous, even waitresses couldn’t concentrate on taking his order. Hair and make-up will have a lot of work to do. At least he has blue eyes… I have faith.

  4. Abby says:

    I agree these are really bad choices. Hopefully this is just another rumor like all the others have been because I will not be seeing the film if any of these actors are involved as the main characters.

  5. sab says:

    It’s amusing when folks think they know who would be perfect for a certain role. I think the term is casting director and unless you are in that room when that actor reads for the role and reads with the potential leading lady we can all think we know who’s best for a role until the sun don’t shine. I haven’t read the books and I won’t read the books but I’ve read books like this before. I like Ian Somerhalder but he doesn’t come across as being capable of being capable of being sexual/sensual to me. Charlie Hunnam doesn’t either. Alexis Bledel doesn’t either. I’m not really vested in the casting outcome but I am curious. I bet at least one of the roles will go to a non-American because Americans don’t role like this in film (overt sexuality). We will see.

  6. Denise L says:

    Ian Somerhalder is the one actor who fits Christian to a T. No one else comes close from what I’ve seen. Some of these actors they are looking at are cringeworthy. Are they making the film for themselves or for an audience because these choices aren’t going to cut it. There may not be a second or third movie if they don’t get this first one right.

    • Samantha says:

      Ian isn’t broad-shouldered or tall, and he doesn’t have the physique. The only physical quality I see that Ian has are his light eyes.

  7. Samantha says:

    Wow these are definitely some off the wall actors/actresses! When I think of Ana based on how she’s described in the books, I think of Emilia Clarke, Felicity Jones and Lily Collins. And for Christian I think of Henry Cavill. Max Irons would even be a good choice for a more unknown route. It doesn’t have to be these actors but its obvious the actresses and actors listed above are quite off from the books!

  8. racy says:

    Speak for yourself, folks. Maybe you will not be watching the movie if it doesn’t have well known actors, but most of us will. Well known actors have been seen so many times in other things that I think the real fans of this series would like to see someone who could put their own stamp on this story. Charlie Hunnam is pretty well known but would bring a great Christian to this story. People who read the series know that the leading lady had dark hair and Charlie would look good in any role.

  9. Tony Campton says:

    Has anyone seen the parody “Fifty Shades Of Grey Gardens” on Funny Or Die? The lead would actually make a quite a good Christian in the “real” movie.

  10. Melissa says:

    These books are on the Best Sellers list. You’d think they’d put more effort into who gets cast and fork over the money for some quality actors…that actually look the parts too! The cast appealing to the fans will, after all, be a determining factor in the success of the film. These names here for Ana and Christian are beyond terrible in so many ways.

  11. Mary says:

    No way. None of those actresses even come close! Charlie isn’t Christian either!

  12. Sharon R R says:

    Where is Jensen Ackles in the short list for lead?

  13. racy says:

    Everybody has to start somewhere – that is how you get to be higher than “lower budget ones.” People who are not that familiar with the 50 Shades series have maligned the writing, etc., to the point that some might be hesitant about taking a role. Whomever is chosen is going to piss off somebody!! It would make me very happy to go see the movie with Charlie in the lead male role. I am a fan of all the cast of Sons of Anarchy. They all do a great job.

  14. stephanie says:

    To me It’s rather obvious that those actors and actresses listed are lower budget ones. Except for Charlie. But why wouldn’t you spent your main budget securing better and more popular actors? The books are best sellers and I personally think they are FANTASTIC! So I would expect nothing less than the best in terms of the cast. I hope they really choose wisely or they will be pissing off a lot of devoted fans.

  15. AC says:

    “Sources” and “insiders” also said Alex Pettyfer was cast as Christian months ago, and they also said a cast would be revealed at comic con. Charlie Hunnam’s reps even denied he was involved after “sources” said he was, so why should we be believing this news? None of those actresses mentioned are even close to being Ana Steele, and I won’t be seeing the movie if one of them gets cast. They won’t be getting a warm welcome from the majority of fans either. We expect to see actors and actresses that of course are not only great actors, but look the part of the much descriptive characters.

    • stephanie says:

      IF Alex is indeed casted they chose wisely he is sexy and would make a good Christian.

      • Mary says:

        He isn’t cast. That was a longgggg time ago, and it was proven false by the producers. Alex is way too young to be playing Christian. He’s much better suited for Ethan.

  16. Jenny M. says:

    I think Camilla Belle IS Anastassia. She would be hot with Charlie Hunnam.

  17. Vania says:


  18. Kara says:

    Fifty Shades of Getting It All Wrong should be the new title if they go with any of these people for the leads. They’re turning off more and more people everyday with the possibility of these horrible choices. Fans will have their say at the box office by not supporting it.

  19. Dayane says:

    Christian Cooke is beautiful is the only thing in common with Christian Grey,but he is a terrible actor and looks like a sad child.

  20. Amber says:

    Horriable list of choices for ana. Alexis bledel would be best in my opinion

  21. Sara says:

    If any of those girls get cast as Ana I will not be seeing the movie. Horrible horrible choices. Felicity Jones was also rumored as contender, if they go with her that would be perfect!

  22. oliver says:

    It is funny how people ‘hype up’ a movie based on a crappy book. People should start reading good books, not cheap pulp porn!

  23. sassygurl says:

    My interest in this soon-to-be movie has waned dramatically after reading the names bandied about. If they want it to be a success, they have to be sure the actor and actress look like the characters and be able to act!

  24. sab says:

    I really like CH but he just isn’t “smutty” enough for that role. Really attractive but to bring that kind of raunch (not that I read this suburban mom’s porn novel)? I don’t know…he’s not even in the 30’s age range they’re talking about. I admit I’m interested in how the casting turns out more than seeing the movie.

  25. Liz says:

    I really question the minds behind this film if this ANY of these actresses for Ana get cast or if this is even true.

  26. racy says:

    Still pulling for Charlie Hunnam for the role in 5o Shades. He has done a great job in the roles that I have seen him in. I think this is a great series and he could do it justice.

  27. abcdefg says:

    Elizabeth Olsen and Cillian Murphy!!

  28. Katie says:

    What a load. How many times have “sources” been reported to say something only to be fake? Every single time something has been reported according to “an insider” or “a source”!! The story on Charlie was obviously wrong even though “sources” said so too! These ladies mentioned above look NOTHING like the Ana EL James writes about in the book. I can’t imagine she’d be okay with them going for an actress that looks the opposite of who she wrote about. Felicity Jones was also rumored to be in talks and she would be perfect.

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