Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson Starring in '50 Shades of Grey'

Monday, 02 September 2013 09:17 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson Starring in '50 Shades of Grey'

Months of rumor, speculation, and Tumblrized conjecture are now over.

The Fifty Shades of Grey movie has found an actress and an actor to step into the Red Room of Pain as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey.

Universal Pictures has announced that Dakota Johnson and Charlie Hunnam are all set to star in the feature adaptation of E.L. James's phenomenally successful erotic novel.

Johnson, the progeny of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffth, first earned a lot of attention onscreen with a small role in The Social Network as a Stanford coed surprised to find she'd just bedded Sean Parker.  In 2011, she appeared as a fellow undercover cop in 21 Jump Street.  More recently, she played the titular Kate alongside Nat Faxon's Ben in the short-lived Fox series Ben & Kate.  She's been rumored for the role of virginal college grad Steele for a few weeks now.  Next up, she stars with Aaron Paul in the actioner Need for Speed.

To play the young and enigmatic billionaire and BDSM enthusiast, the filmmakers have recruited Hunnam, the British actor best known for starring as Jax Teller on the acclaimed FX series Sons of Anarchy.  This summer, he went toe to toe with monstrous Kaiju as Jaeger pilot Raleigh Beckett in Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim.  He'll soon reunite with del Toro on Crimson Peak. Judd Apatow fans will also remember him as pretty boy Lloyd on Undeclared.

Nowhere Boy helmer Sam Taylor-Johnson is directing the adaptation of James's bestseller from a screenplay by Kelly Marcel, who wrote the upcoming Saving Mr. Banks.  Universal and Focus Features are working together on the film, which is produced by Social Network duo Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca

James's novel, followed by two sequels, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, follows Anastasia Steele, a college student who becomes involved in an intense sexual relationship with Christian Grey, a young billionaire with an affinity for non-disclosure agreements.  The story started out as Twilight fan-fiction written under the pseudonym Snowqueens Icedragon before going on to become a literary three-ring circus.  With its elements of deviancy and softcore stylings, the novels have become known as "mommy porn."

Universal announced the casting in two separate press releases, both of which are included below starting with Johnson:

UNIVERSAL CITY, CA, September 2, 2013 — Dakota Johnson will star as Anastasia Steele, the lead female character in Universal Pictures and Focus Features’ highly anticipated film adaptation of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” it was announced today.  The film, which will be released by Focus Features on August 1, 2014 in North America, is being directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and produced by Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti alongside E L James, the author of the #1 bestselling book on which the film is based.  The screenplay is by Kelly Marcel.  The announcement about Ms. Johnson’s casting in Fifty Shades of Grey was made today by Ms. James.

Ms. Johnson’s first notable screen role was in the multi-Academy Award-winning 2010 feature The Social Network, on which Mr. De Luca and Mr. Brunetti were producers.  Her subsequent movies include the upcoming feature Need for Speed, 21 Jump Street, and Universal Pictures’ The Five-Year Engagement.  She also starred as Kate in the Fox Network comedy series Ben and Kate, which aired during the 2012-2013 season.  Ms. Johnson is currently shooting the feature film Cymbeline.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” has become a global phenomenon and the trilogy has been translated in 50 languages worldwide since its release.  To date, the “Fifty Shades” trilogy has sold over 70 million copies worldwide in e-book and print, making it one of the fastest-selling book series ever.

Universal and Focus acquired the rights to the three books in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy in March 2012.  Focus Features will market and distribute the first film in partnership with Universal.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” follows the relationship of 27-year-old billionaire Christian Grey and college student Anastasia Steele.  Subsequent novels in the series, “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed,” explore the couple’s deepening relationship.  For more information please see the official Fifty Shades of Grey Facebook page.

And here's Hunnam's announcement:

UNIVERSAL CITY, CA, September 2, 2013 — Charlie Hunnam will star as Christian Grey, the lead male character in Universal Pictures and Focus Features’ highly anticipated film adaptation of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” it was announced today.  He joins Dakota Johnson, who will star opposite him as Anastasia Steele.  The film, which will be released by Focus Features on August 1, 2014 in North America, is being directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and produced by Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti alongside E L James, the author of the #1 bestselling book on which the film is based.  The screenplay is by Kelly Marcel.  The announcement about Mr. Hunnam’s casting in Fifty Shades of Grey was made today by Ms. James.

Mr. Hunnam currently stars as a regular on the critically acclaimed FX series Sons of Anarchy.  His feature film credits include Pacific Rim, Children of Men, Cold Mountain, and Nicholas Nickleby.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” has become a global phenomenon and the trilogy has been translated in 50 languages worldwide since its release.  To date, the “Fifty Shades” trilogy has sold over 70 million copies worldwide in e-book and print, making it one of the fastest-selling book series ever.

Universal and Focus acquired the rights to the three books in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy in March 2012.  Focus Features will market and distribute the first film in partnership with Universal.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” follows the relationship of 27-year-old billionaire Christian Grey and college student Anastasia Steele.  Subsequent novels in the series, “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed,” explore the couple’s deepening relationship.  For more information please see the official Fifty Shades of Grey Facebook page.


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