Jamie Dornan Will Play Christian Grey in ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ (EXCLUSIVE)

'Once Upon a Time' actor replaces Charlie Hunnam in adaptation of sexy bestseller

Northern Irish actor Jamie Dornan has been tapped to replace Charlie Hunnam as Christian Grey in the Universal and Focus adaptation of “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

Dornan plays Sheriff Graham Humbert in ABC series “Once Upon a Time”; he’s also played a serial killer in BBC Two crime drama “The Fall,” and he appeared in Sofia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette.” The 31-year-old thesp performs in an Irish folk duo and has modeled for Calvin Klein, Christian Dior and Armani. His modeling experience may be useful, as the part will require him to act in explicitly sexual scenes.

PHOTOS: Jamie Dornan, From Model to “Fifty Shades”

Dakota Johnson will co-star as Anastasia Steele, with Sam Taylor-Johnson on board to direct.

Universal and Focus Features declined to comment.

The project was hit with a huge curveball when Hunnam departed after being attached for just a month. Universal said Hunnam’s exit was due to scheduling issues with “Sons of Anarchy” and upcoming movie “Crimson Peak,” but some sources said battles over a rewrite and the actor’s doubts about the role may have played a part in his decision.

PHOTOS: Christian Grey Casting: A Timeline

When Hunnam exited, U and Focus execs decided to go for more of a discovery and brought in Dornan and Billy Magnussen to test with Johnson last Friday. Though the studio considered bringing in more actors to test, as of Wednesday morning sources said no one else had been brought in.

Universal will now work quickly to land thesps for the remaining supporting roles that include Steele’s roommate Kate, a role for which U had already been testing actresses prior to Hunnam’s exit.

Michael De Luca is on to produce the adaptation of E.L. James’ sexy bestseller, which is set to bow Aug. 1, 2014.

Dornan is repped by UTA and United Agents.

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  1. Pam says:

    I agree with everything you say about Matt except this part is is already so hard to cast. I don’t think that you can really expect the other majority of people to suspend belief that he is enjoying himself in these scenes no matter how good an actor he is. I didn’t enjoy That Dustin Hoffman Movie either. Its just hard if you have the knowledge in your head.

  2. Liz says:

    I do not know this actor but he looks more like what you would expect C G to look like..I like Charlie Hunnam fab actor but I don’t think he could have pulled off the part somehow..I am going to stick with my original actor I thought should have played Christian and that is Matt Bommer..the fact that he is gay would not have mattered because he is a smashing actor and handsome to boot..ah well..

  3. Lina says:

    Oui il est très beau et je pense qu il sera très bien dans le rôle de Christian grey

  4. Why matt Homer?? He’s nobody…but I guess west Hollywood and san francisco loves him…they need their sex symbols too. I think you’re reaching here.

  5. ALR says:

    Matt Bomer was the perfect Christian Grey. This last casting put the nail in the coffin for me. I won’t bother with the movie.

  6. guerra19750@yahoo.com says:

    I really wanted Matt Bomer to be Christian Gray

  7. Someone says:

    You may find it crazy…but while I read the books, I always pictured Chef Ramsey…lol For some reason..he just fit for me.

  8. LISA KUEHNER says:

    HE IS NOT CHRISTIAN GRAY, NO WAY, HE DOE NOT EVEN REPRESENT CHRISTIAN GRAY, WOW , YOU NEED TO READ THE BOOK, SORRY, HE IS NO MATCH.

  9. Pam says:

    Not everyone likes the same books.

  10. SOA rocks anyway! Jax Teller for Congress!

  11. Why is everyone pitching such a hissy fit over 50 Shades? It’s such overhyped chick porn. I tried reading it.. Twice! It’s just so much crap! SKIP IT!! Although, I did like Dornan on Once upon a Time….poor guy!

  12. Pam says:

    I am trying to picture Ashley Green now.

  13. Pam says:

    I think with all the bad things going on in this world we all need little things to keep our sanity. Our congress was just acting like ” mines bigger then yours” till they almost bankrupted the country. Obama wanted his namesake healthcare system so bad it was to hell with “We The People” and now you can’t even get online to buy it and if you do its so expensive you can’t afford it. Children are going hungry. If you can do anything about it get “your butt” off line and go do it. If not sit and enjoy a little stupidity with the rest of us.

  14. Ruby says:

    I love how everyone is so upset! It makes my outrage over women’s rights in the middle east or AIDS in Africa seem so petty and meaningless. I keep forgetting the world revolves around Hollywood and its celebrities. My bad.

  15. Pammy says:

    Totally agree Destiny, this girl is not & never will be Ana & the more they try to shove her down our throats & talk her up, the more the fans are rejecting her… I’m so disappointed in the casting of Ana as are my friends, no matter who they cast as Grey we have already decided NOT to bother with seeing the film… this girl needs to be replaced ASAP for them to have any chance of getting an audience for the film!!

  16. Destiny says:

    Anastasia Steele is supposed to be beautiful that girl is NOT HER ! Instead of changing all the beautiful men they have they need to change the girl

  17. Pam says:

    I’ve read the book twice too!!! BFD!!!! Do you know how to read?

  18. Lou says:

    jamie is hot, but he is NOT christian gray my vote still for Matt bomer and Dakota Johnson? seriously??? crystal reed is more suitable as anastasia steele

  19. Pam says:

    It just happened again. I have belonged to this type of blog before and never had to issue but my replies are not going where they are suppose to. The poor person that got the yelling one was not yelling lol. Please bear with me. If you get a crazy reply it probably isn’t intended for you:)

  20. Pam says:

    I hit reply but half the time it comes up under the wrong reply roflmao!

  21. Pam says:

    I like Ian but he doesn’t look anything like Christain so stop yelling and take a blood pressure pill before you have a heart attack. I am worried about you. lol

  22. I would not waste my time watching it.

  23. Pam says:

    Not Ann Hathaway. She just seems to old and not innocent enough. Didn’t she just play a dying prostitute? Not liking Dakota either.

  24. Jennifer Martinez says:

    WHY have they not chosen Ian Somerhalder!?!? I’m pretty confident that he would make the PERFECT Mr. Gray, I mean hello have you people not watched The Vampire Diaries!?! His character is pretty much the Vamp version of Christian Gray… I definitely will NOT be going to see this movie Smdh….

    • Redhead says:

      Are you sure they didn’t offer it to him and he was smart enough to say no? Everybody is assuming that these actors are jumping at the chance to play this part. Don’t act like this is the role of the century; hardly.

  25. Alex Kels says:

    I’ll wait for the Lifetime original movie or when it comes out on Netflix.

  26. Pam says:

    Alex S. looks too old to me.

  27. Pam says:

    Thanks for the U-Tube video….he’ll be great!!!!!!! Laters :)

  28. Great choice, I think he’s cute and can act, that’s what we need.

  29. brightviolette says:

    I’m very pleased with this decision. Looking forward to the movie!

  30. I AM NO LONGER LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS MOVIE WHAT ARE THEY THINKING THIS GUY IS NOT CHRISTIAN GREY …GEEZ DID THEY READ THE DAMN BOOKS THIS IS NOT SCREAMING CHRISTIAN GREY;..IAN SOMERHALDER NOW THERE IS A CHRISTIAN GREY!!! LAME PICKS SERIOUSLY!

  31. Lynne says:

    Matt Bomer is my #1 choice and I would be happy with Scott Eastwood who in my opinion, has the right look for Christian Grey. After reading up Jamie Dornan, I came across this clip of him modeling for CK with a female model. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mdh4gDEhSSs
    They were both shy and hot! I think Jamie can do smoldering sex scene.

  32. Butt Chunx says:

    My butt is about to play Christian Brown in ‘Fifty Shades of Brown’!

  33. aSkars Grey Tie says:

    Alexander Skarsgard is who people would pay money for. He would lift the profile of the film. Shame they’re going for the tween market. The mature audience (who the books are targeting) may not feel overly comfortable seeing a ‘kid’ do those things. It could be seen ‘wrong’. They would question whether he would be able to take them to ‘those places’. On the other hand, Alexander Skarsgard. OH MY SEX!!

    • OMG says:

      He’s 31, not 21!!! He’s playing the part of a 27 year old. He fits the role.

    • Nicky says:

      You also have to think about who would take the part…who is working already and who the production can afford. I actually think he is not a bad choice.

    • Jay says:

      NOPE!!!!!

    • d says:

      He would have been amazing in this role, and the film actually good. But I doubt they were willing to pay him what he was due. The kid was willing to work for peanuts, just like Charlie, but a few more peanuts have been added. They went cheap and it shows. He is a joke.

  34. Michelle says:

    “His modeling experience may come in useful, as the part will require him to act in explicitly sexual scenes”.

    Hmmm. I was unaware that print modeling and soft core porn went hand in hand?

    They should be calling some runway models to audition for the lead female role if fans are so disappointed….

  35. Pam says:

    Now they can start filming. He’ll do good. I’m moore worried about Dakota Johnson. Who is she?

  36. TVfan says:

    I fell in love with Jamie Dornan watching TV “Once Upon a Time” on ABC, played so compelling story as The Huntsman / Sheriff Graham with Jennifer Morrison who plays Emma Swan. #swoon
    Wishing all best.

  37. Mena says:

    I think he’ll surprise, he’s very good. People who have actually seen him performing would support this decision. And it’s not just cause he’s incredibly HOT, which he is

    • d says:

      I have seen him act, nothing special for sure. He looks like a damn kid. Runty/small/scrawny. The pics are from some time ago, and photo shopped to the hilt. They sold out to the cheap again. Fifty Shades Of Flop, all over again. You would think they would have learned the first time. Only this kids die hard fans of that killed off character of his and the Brit show want him in the role. Hell Charlie was not ideal, but at least he looked like a man.

    • Mary says:

      I think he may be good…he has that look.
      I am just glad it is over ..the casting. Now I want to see the rest of the cast…esp his brother.
      I would loved to have seen Stuart Townsend from Betrayal do the role..but C Grey is 28 and
      ST is 37.

  38. tiff says:

    I am beyond horrified at this casting……I wasn’t positive about Charlie but I was open to it cause he was hott….this guy in no way do I find attractive…..in the books Christian is the type of man that is so dam hot that everyone no matter ur type could find him attractive and well this guy …..the words escape me

  39. Susan says:

    Casting FAIL…

  40. Shelley says:

    One of the guys outside painting the side of our building, would make a better Christian Grey than this dude. He’s too short, scrawny, and his acting is subpar at best. I didn’t think the book was great, but if they had to make it into a movie, they should have picked someone better. For example, someone taller with muscles. Nice job screwing up the movie before you even get started. I belong to a book club with 30+ women, once we all saw this this guy as your latest choice, we all decided that none of us will be going to see this movie. Yuck

  41. Melissa says:

    I read all 3 books a few times and am a fan of the books! I think they just need to STOP with trying to make a movie. Every woman has “created” Christian Grey and Ana in their minds. No actor/actress will be able to do them any justice. Just stop and let us woman continue with our fantasies without trying to put an actual face to him. Plus trying to make the movie into a rated R or even N-17 is cutting away too much.

    • Pam Bogue says:

      I agree. I do have him set in my head. Dakota doesn’t fit either.

      • Jennifer Martinez says:

        I personally think Ann Hathaway and Ian Somerhalder would play the roles very well… Though I am concerned with how they think they are gonna pull off making this a movie!! It’s going to be nothing like the book!!!

  42. Sandy says:

    no no no!! TEAM FIFTY START LISTENING TO YOUR FANS!!! if they all disagree wouldn’t that make you think twice!? some are even talking about not even watching the film anymore. :/ Think about it ;)

  43. Marianne says:

    ”Universal and Focus Features declined to comment.” LOL Even the studio is mortified at how all this has played out. Epic fail Team Fifty.

  44. tracy says:

    No way he is not christain grey I have read that book twice he is not CG and Daykota is not Anatasia you really need to get a better cast

  45. Indi says:

    Everybody has pictured their own Christian Grey in there head so it will be hard to beat the imagination of every women that has read the Fifty Shades series, but Mr. Dornan will do fine I think better than Charlie Hunnan.

    • Walter says:

      Yep. That says it all, right there. A reader of “Fifty Shades” says that everyone “has pictured their (sic) own Christian Grey in THERE head.” THERE head. Yes, THERE head.

      A real Shakespearean work, this “Fifty Shades” is, and its readers so … literate.

    • Pam Bogue says:

      I am happy with this choice. I didn’t want Charlie or Matt. He still isn’t Christain but like Indi says everyone has their own in their head.

  46. Karen says:

    There are so many books out there that the readers have envisioned a particular person. That is the beauty of books. We all get a vision in our head and that helps draw us into the book. When it comes to turning these books into movies, there are so many “perfect” actors based on all of our various visions. I, for one am looking forward to the movie and think that Jamie Dornan is a better match than Charlie Hunnan was (although I love him as Jax). Let’s give the producers, casting, and director a chance to do their jobs and trust in the industry to give us a great film. If not, then we can always choose to not see the next one.

  47. mary says:

    I only read the book because Charlie was cast to play lead role. With the disappointment of his exit, I was sceptical who could fit the profile of Christian Grey. As it’s not a role fit for the average actor. With that said, I am more than disappointed. Jamie, in no way, not even close has what is needed. He’s not even attractive. Christian Grey is suppose to be major eye candy, this man, is far from anything but average. Very disappointed in casting choice for both lead roles. You have set movie to be a failure.

  48. AnonReader says:

    Fifty Shades of Grey is a horribly written book, with a stalker as the male lead that people are obsessed with. Before all of the “mommy porn” fans get angry, yes – I did read all three books. An author that has to repeat the same words over and over in a book is not creative and groundbreaking. Someone who makes terrible spelling and grammatical errors is not a visionary. Someone who apparently thinks that all Hispanic people are named Jose or Jose Sr. is not the person that I want this generation’s reading material to be remembered by. The author (and fans) of this book have glorified a character that is controlling and abusive. The people that argue that this character is “flawed” and “changed because of true love” are flat out insulting people who are in the real life situation of being controlled, abused or stalked. By creating all of this so-called controversy over who gets cast as the lead, it’s focusing way too much attention on this book. By doing so, it’s teaching young girls that you can “fix” this type of man, when in reality, it can get them hurt and killed. Damage like that can not be undone. I will not be seeing this movie, but not because of whoever the cast is it isn’t.

    • I agree with you. Everyone has an opinion on who Christian grey should be…that’s why it’s called…ACTING!! Twits! All I cancan say about casting a character… Tom Cruise as Lestat in interview with the vampire. I hate the little runt..but he..was..AWESOME!!

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