‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Movie Casts Charlie Hunnam & Dakota Johnson as Leads

Published 2 years ago by , Updated September 3rd, 2013 at 5:53 am,

Fifty Shades of Grey Movie Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson Fifty Shades of Grey Movie Casts Charlie Hunnam & Dakota Johnson as Leads

The Fifty Shades of Grey movie has been courting a lot of attention (not all of it good) since Universal sent it down the production pipeline with acclaimed director Sam Taylor-Johnson (Nowhere Boy) at the helm. The story – about a college senior who meets a sexually eccentric young billionaire and begins a strange BDSM relationship with him – has been a bestselling book trilogy and was (for a moment) a serious cultural fixation – which is why the question of the lead actors in the film version has been a big one.

Aside from those now-defunct Emma Watson rumors, or the more credible whispers that Arrow star Stephen Amell could take the role of the titular Christian Grey, a more recent report pointed to Social Network actress Dakota Johnson and Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam being our principal pair for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. And now that looks to be the case, officially.

Deadline dropped the confirmation about Johnson, while the more controversial casting of Hunnam was confirmed by Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L. James via Twitter. There’s not much to say about this bit of news, other than to discuss what would normally be a very crass topic, but is wholly relevant in this rare case: Are these the two people we want to see naked onscreen sexing each other in between handcuffing, whipping, and other forms of S&M play?

In the case of Johnson (daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, BTW): aside from that somewhat memorable panty-shot scene with Justin Timberlake in The Social Network, few moviegoers are likely to be overly familiar (or smitten) with the actress’s looks – but that doesn’t mean she’s not a fit for the role. In books, Anastasia Steele (Johnson’s character) was initially insecure about her own looks when compared to the handsome Christian Grey – and one could see that dynamic playing out in believable fashion between Johnson and Charlie “Heartthrob” Hunnam. She certainly had charm in her lead role in Fox’s freshman sitcom Ben & Kate – and people do remember that rear shot from Social Network - so she should do alright, “ahem,” pleasing both hardcore fans of the books and casual moviegoers alike.

Fifty Shades of Grey Movie Universal Focus Features Fifty Shades of Grey Movie Casts Charlie Hunnam & Dakota Johnson as Leads

In the case of the Hunnam, the discussion is much simpler: Ladies (both inside and outside of the film screen) were swooning when the actor went shirtless in Pacific Rim - so the notion of Jax Teller from Sons of Anarchy getting down and dirty in the buff is going to be BIG motivation (no pun) for a large female demographic to buy tickets – whether they like the Fifty Shades of Grey novel or not.

With the leads now secured, it falls on Taylor-Johnson and her screenwriter Kelly Marcel (Terra Nova) to create a cinematic experience that is more than a exploitative skin-flick – while possibly having to elevate the questionable storytelling abilities of E.L. James, as well. That’s not to mention the mountain of stigma facing this property, or the task of selling a highly-explict (possibly NC-17) film to the masses.

How do you feel about this casting?


Fifty Shades of Grey will be in theaters on August 1, 2014.

Sources: Deadline & Twitter

Follow Kofi Outlaw on Twitter @ppnkof
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  1. Most likely won’t be watching it but I like Charlie Hunnam as an actor so I hope he does well, even if it is an erotic novel adaptation lol.

  2. Just to think, if Pacific Rim did better in the States, he probably wouldn’t have to do this movie.

    • lol, the way you worded it makes him seem like a w*ore.

      • I believe that was the joke.

  3. Congrats to Charlie. I liked him in Pacific Rim and this will give his career a huge push.
    He’ll get many more proyects after this one, for sure, so again, congrats to him.

    • Not necessarily. A movie like this could possibly do more harm than good to his career.

      • I get what you’re trying to say, but even if the movie is mediocre, if his performance is decent/good, first he will be much more famous, so more industry crew will get more interested in him for another proyects, either if they are blokbusters, thrillers, or indie movies.

        So he will get more offers after this movie and if he chooses right, he will have a long and pretty interesting career, even if he has been in the industry for some time already.

        • He doesnt have the chops to be a top tier actor imo. He is really good in sons of anarchy and suprisely good as a youngster in undeclared. Neither role has challenged him and i found him flat in pacific rim. He has potential tho

          • Charlie was great in Deadfall.
            My mind changed about Hunnam
            after seeing that movie performance.

            • +1

              • Don’t forget The Ledge.

      • The guy was in the British show “Queer As Folk”, written by Russell T Davis about the loves and lives of homosexual men with explicit scenes throughout.

        I’m sure Hunnam won’t mind starring in this horribly written, grammatically hideous fanfic.

        • I was not aware of that and that
          explains why he would have no
          hesitation doing this movie.

      • Absolutely, lets use Kristen Stewart as a prime example. Although the movie was a big hit it teenie boop audience, it fail to launch her career mainly due to her horrible acting.

    • It’s not a film I’d necessarily care for him having but I can’t deny he’ll be making headlines. Also he’s going to be in Del Toro’s Crimson Peak.

  4. wow what a shame . 2 good actors wasted in another cheap skinamax bound movie .

    • Agreed.

  5. Charlie Hunnam is too good for this material
    and for that reason this is a poor career move.

    Dakota Johnson, whoever she is, looks to be from
    the pool of actresses on would expect suitable
    and for her this is way to get better known.
    And cheeky enough based on the video_;)

    • one would expect

  6. Bad choices. Ian Sommerhalder and Evan Rachel Wood (or Alexis Bledel) are the best choices for these characters.

    • Second that.

  7. Anyone else love Hunnam in GREEN STREET HOOLIGANS or NICHOLAS NICHOLBY?
    No, I won’t be watching this trash, since I already seen the movie SECRETARY, but Charlie as they potential to be a good actor.

    Also, I loved Ben & Kate, sorry, but hated Johnson in 5 YEAR ENGAGEMENT…to be fair, I hated everything about 5 YEAR ENGAGEMENT

    • I have never seen The Secretary.
      It probably will look Shakespearean
      compared to this unfortunate movie.

      • You should watch it.

        It’s really sexy and and surprisingly well made given its subject matter.

        • Agreed.

        • Ultron spanking Batman’s girlfriend, can’t beat it!

  8. I agree mr palmer, bad choice for both actors . Im just am really getting tired of hollywood treating movie lovers like mindless drones ruled by our base desires or desire to go with the crowd . I just wished they would grow a pair and show us the talented people we all know they have instead of making s**** like this and losing their shorts like RIP,AFTER EARTH, LONE RANGER .

    • There’s a difference majority of Hollywood doesn’t make movies for movie lovers but movie-goers.

  9. They should rename this film “Pacific Rimming”. Amirite?

    Okay, i’ll go kill myself now.

  10. Does this movie even need to be theatrically released anyway?

    Why couldn’t they be smart about it and released it as an HBO movie?

    Either way, me and my gay friends are fans of Charlie Hunnam, so we’re probably going to see it anyway just to see him nekked.

  11. Anyone else remember when Hunnam played Lloyd in that Judd Apatow show Undeclared? Seems like a long time ago now…

  12. When you think about it this could (stressing could) be a good move for Hunnam…
    He’s an ok actor at best IMO and if this does well enough at the box office it could lead to more roles in the Rom-Com genre. Sure that’s not always the most respectable of movie types but work is work and if that’s the route he’s willing to go more power to him.
    As for Johnson, why not?
    I’ve only seen her in the roles mentioned by Kofi and if I’m not mistaken I think she’s currently on The Newsroom in a small recurring part.

    • She’s not the actress I was thinking of on The Newsroom.
      Oops. ;)

  13. Not very happy about the casting for fifty shades. I guess I had my heart set on Ian smolderholden for the Christian and Alexis biedel for Anastasia. Don’t believe Dakota would make a good Anastasia but that’s just my pinion. Honestly I had no idea who she was until I googled her. Not very happy with the cast but am still excited for the movie.

  14. well congrats to charlie even though I won’t be watching this movie. SOA rules! and i had to look up “dakota johnson five year engagement” on google images to remind me who she was in that movie.

  15. No offense but Dakota Johnson has ugly features (and a Rumor Willis jaw line…ew), and she is tall while Ana is petite and dainty and delicate. She doesn’t have Ana’s pretty features and big eyes either. She doesn’t even have a chest and looks old. I don’t understand this cast at all. Are they trying to ruin the film or what? I’m not seeing this movie now. They put shame to these books with their poor casting choices.

    • Totally agree. This chick looks like she’s twenty-eight or thirty. She’s supposed to be insecure, sure, but HOT. Guys are hitting on her and wanting her throughout the whole series.

    • I hate to say this, but she looks old and her nose is really weird looking. I am 37 and she looks my age with those bags under her eyes. Cucumbers girl, or surgery like your mom.

      • ^^^
        I’m saying! She looks too old for the role.

    • They put shame to these books? Really? The books are far from literature. I do agree with you about how unattractive she is

  16. “so the notion of Jax Teller from Sons of Anarchy getting down and dirty in the buff is going to be BIG motivation (no pun) for a large female demographic to buy tickets – whether they like the Fifty Shades of Grey novel or not.”

    Pretty sure the male population will see this if they are gay – maybe.

    The dude’s hot but I don’t think mom porn will win anyone over. So you maybe correct.

  17. Honestly, I haven’t even read the book or even wanted to… but reading the description, I think Charlie fits the character of the guy (what’s his name again?)… though I wish he would do a Superhero/Comic Book movie instead (he’s got the look, great body and charming persona). I don’t know about Dakota though, I haven’t seen her acting chops

  18. This will bomb at the box office.

    Right casting is everything to leverage off of an erotic novel.

    Has not happened.

  19. this casting is SAD. seriously that girl? NO WAY. please start a twitter revolution for a RECAST

  20. this casting is sad. seriously so off with Ana. that girl is not right for so many reasons. hollywood should listen to all the fans who are saying they don’t support this cast and that the movie is going to bomb. revote. recast.

  21. They look like brother and sister.

  22. She is so so wrong for ana, maybe the bestfriend kate. And not alexis bledel, lily collins would be better. He could be an ok mr.grey.

  23. This news is the opposite of what I was expecting. I was thinking of an actor more refined with dark hair and eyes and at least an actress with more experience. Either way you never know…it could be good.

  24. They should have castes Karl Urban lol

  25. I think that they couldn’t have chosen more suitable actors. Charlie is a very versatile actor. Can’t wait to see it.

  26. Why Charlie!>!?!?!>!! He looks like a bum or homeless person. Totally ruined my image of Christian!
    I hope the author and director come to their senses and see that this will only lead to a downfall…

  27. I completely agree with “not happy”‘s comment above.