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. Vane says:

    Ian Somerhalder

  2. I think he will make a good Christian Grey and hopefully this time all the negative comments that have started will be the minority. In my mind I have my ideal of who Christian Grey looks like to me-we all do- there is no one person that will make us all happy so lets be positive and let this movie be made!

  3. d says:

    Too bad, it could have been good, but only with the right cast, they did not even bother to listen to anyone again, by that I mean the people paying for the tickets. He is too short and scrawny for the role, besides his poor acting. They once again went cheap, and it shows. Oh by the way those pics they are shoving down peoples throats, were from some time ago, and were shopped from within an inch of turning into cartoon characters. We all know how he loves to show is junk, well shortie can show it all he wants now, to empty seats. The only thing that would have saved this debacle would have been a good Christian. Like I said, too bad.

  4. Katie says:

    Christian is tall and masculine not short and scrawny. Ugh! They already ruined it with Dakota playing Ana but they could’ve at least tried to get something right! I’m not seeing this film. Sticking to the books!

    • chs88 says:

      Totally agree with Katie- this guy is not bad looking, but way to scrawny and skinny- sure hope he does some weights before he gets on screen. And Dakota? Could they get any plainer than her? She looks like she’s never exercised a day in her life, doesn’t have good curves and has a huge forehead! So very disappointed. I’m counting on lots of photo-shopping and special effects in the movie!

  5. Gigi says:

    MAtt Bomer Always

  6. Kathy says:

    I am glad he got the part . I think he is great looking and will do a good job. There is no way that everyone out there was going to be happy with the casting. He was not my first choice but I can see him in the part. I thought Charlie was good looking too but he just did not fit the description of Christian at all. Looking forward to seeing the movie.

  7. P. Doode says:

    I’m holding out for 50 Cent as Mr. Fifty…

  8. savy says:

    Omg I am such a crazy fan of FSOG!!! But there is no way I can picture this guy as Christian. Omg this is not cool. I have waited far too long to have Christian as this Doran guy. No way in hell did I ever imagine Christian like Doran

  9. Annette says:

    Is this true?

  10. mk says:

    Good choice – near perfect!

    • d says:

      He is terrible, too fooking short and scrawny, and his acting is very very weak. Too bad. No one but die hard fans of his from that European show and his less than impressive stint as “The Sheriff” give a damn. Fifty Shades Of Fail, once again.

  11. Ice-T says:

    Because there are no good male actors in America under the age of 50.

    • d says:

      According to sources from on the set, the Author did not want an american in the role. This whole thing started out as a British party, except for the girl, it has stayed that way. They can keep it.

  12. Leon says:

    Embarrassed that Jamie’s agents persuaded him to do this. He will never be taken seriously as an actor after this and I thought that is what he was working toward after years as a model.

  13. loretta says:

    No no no he is so not christian ian somerhalder is a zillion times better I wanted charlie hunnam but this guy no please no

    • Michael Anthony says:

      And that’s exactly why this movie will bomb. So many fans are wedded to what they think the character should look like. And they refuse to see anyone else in the role. Same with the book. Parts will be cut, otherwise you’ll have a 6 hour movie. The book opened your mind. Let the film do the same. If not, it will bomb and destroy these actors careers.

      • d says:

        I hope it bombs, with the way they have dealt with any of the important casting, it deserves to tank, big time.

  14. CB says:

    The movie will bomb, its going head to head with Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy, and it will be rated NC-17. I smell this opens to 15 million at best

    • Waystation 49 says:

      “Marvels” is a different demographic from “50 Shades”, I think. Even cougar women go to date- type movies.

      If you are a guy wanting to “get lucky “… You tell me which movie you’d put your movie dollars on… My guess is it won’t be “Marvels”.

      “Marvels” demographic I think is mostly kids, teens, parents with kids, grandparents with grandchildren, big sisters and big brothers, and gotta love ’em – the coolest of all – the geeks and nerds type, or the guys long ago dreaming to want to grow up to be Super Heroes.

      • Sydney says:

        I agree Marvel and FSOG have totally demographics.

        Marvel attracts people who actually want to see a good movie.

        FSOG attracts women going through a mid life crisis who secretly pine for a what? An abusive, controlling relationship? Okay.

  15. Andrea says:

    I was really hoping for Alexander Skarsgard. He fits the role so well. Not sure about this guy.

    • d says:

      This guy is everything Alexander is not. This guys acting blows, He is too short, too scrawny, too little. Is not good looking enough, but he came cheap. And that is all they were concerned about. Alexander was perfect for this role, and everyone knows it. Their stupidity has doomed the film. I will not go to see this film with just anyone in it. Many will, just too see the sex, go rent a porn, better acting and cheaper.

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