50 shades of grey cast

50 Shades of Grey movie coming soon!

E.L. James took to Twitter on Labor Day, revealing the casting choices for the upcoming movie adaptation of the popular erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey. Industry insiders have speculated for months over who would secure two of the most sought-after roles in Hollywood, and in the end, the relatively low-profile actors Dakota Johnson and Charlie Hunnam were selected.

Neither actor has been a lead in a major film to date. Johnson, the daughter of screen veterans Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, has had minor roles in The Social Network and 21 Jump Street along with the lead-role of Kate in the short-lived comedy series Ben and Kate. Hunnam is most widely recognized for currently starring as Jax Teller on the FX series Sons of Anarchy.

fifty-shades-of-grey-trilogy

Johnson and Hunnam presumably signed on for films based on all three books. The “Fifty Shades” trilogy has become a global phenomenon, selling over 70 million copies worldwide and translated in 50 languages. To date, the trilogy is one of the fastest-selling book series of all time. The series follows the relationship between 27-year old billionaire Christian Grey who falls for a young college virgin, Anastasia Steele. The books are most notable for having explicitly erotic scenes including dominance and submission.

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Fans of the series were quick to voice their opinions on Twitter over the casting choices. Reactions have been mixed so far, with Charlie Hunnam being mentioned for his age, he’s 33 portraying a late-20s character, and Dakota Johnson who some don’t consider having the right look for Anastasia.

Regardless of initial fan reaction, author E.L. James is standing by her choices, voicing a response on Twitter. “To all the supporters, lovers and haters – thank you so much for the passion that you have for this project. You all rock. All of you.”

The producer of the upcoming film also issued a Twitter statement, stating “There is a lot that goes into casting that isn’t just looks. Talent, availability, their desire to do it, chemistry with the other actor, etc.” So true! The studio admits that the couple had to do a “chemistry read” in which they perform a scene on video, to convince producers and Universal executives that the pairing works, and worked it must have!

Production is set to begin this fall and will be directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and produced by Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti alongside the author E.L. James (of which the film is based). Fifty Shades of Grey will be released August 1, 2014 by Focus Features.

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Have you read the series and do you plan on seeing Fifty Shades of Grey in theaters?

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