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.

More Film

  • Fifty Shades Freed

    'Fifty Shades Freed' to Tie Up $37 Million in Opening Weekend

    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 […]

  • Robert Redford Sundance 2018

    Robert Redford Says #MeToo Movement Will Give Women More Opportunities in Hollywood

    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 […]

  • American Animals

    First Look at Poster for Buzzy Sundance Heist Film 'American Animals' (EXCLUSIVE)

    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 […]

  • Indie Sales Acquires Claus Drexel’s Political

    Indie Sales Acquires Claus Drexel's Political Documentary 'America' (EXCLUSIVE)

    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 […]

  • Rachel Weisz Cloud One

    Rachel Weisz to Star in Sci-Fi Movie 'Cloud One' (EXCLUSIVE)

    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 […]

  • Agnes Varda Sets Off to New

    Agnes Varda Sets Off to New Film Journey With MK2 (EXCLUSIVE)

    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 […]

  • Lara Croft Defies Death in New

    Lara Croft Defies Death in New 'Tomb Raider' Trailer

    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 […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content