Actors & Actresses That Were Rumored In Fifty Shades of Grey But Were Not
E L James’ novel, Fifty Shades of Grey, brought on a fury of loyal followers. The series of erotic romance novels seemed to gain popularity quickly, with all three being published in late 2011 to early 2012. The series has sold over 100 million copies worldwide, marking it as one of the biggest-selling novel series.
It was no surprise when film production companies immediately started prompting E L James for filming rights. By March 2012, Universal Pictures and Focus Features secured the rights to the trilogy and in May 2013, female director Sam Taylor-Johnson was solidified. With the production crew selected, actor casting was underway, but with no surprise the books’ fans would make sure their opinions were heard.
It goes without saying that fans were very particular over who was selected to play the role of the domineering entrepreneur and lead character, Christian Grey. It was rumored that E L James had originally mentioned Robert Pattinson as her first choice, but felt that casting him with Kristen Stewart would be strange and weird. Oddly, other well-known vampire actors, Ian Somerhalder and Alexander Skarsgard, were also mentioned as possible contenders. The studios reportedly wanted Ryan Gosling, who showed no interest in the film.
In September, E L James announced “Sons of Anarchy” lead Charlie Hunnam would be playing the role of Christian. Hunnam, while leery at first, was very enthralled, stating, an intense chemistry between himself and his co-lead, Dakota Johnson. Fans, however, were not as excited. Over 85,000 people signed a petition opposing the casting of the British-born actor. Hunnam stepped down and rumors were plentiful, but he admitted that his filming schedule was too overwhelming to proceed with the role.
To replace him, “White Collar” actor Matt Bomer was rumored as a selection. Lesser-known faces, Theo James and Christian Cooke, were also reportedly on the short list, but it was “Once Upon a Time” actor Jamie Dornan who was finally selected.
With as much drama that was associated with the casting of Christian Grey, you can be assured that the casting of timid student and fellow leading character, Anastasia Steele, was also met with drama of its own. Rumors were plentiful and fans made sure their favorites were known. Amongst those leading the fan favorites were “Game of Thrones” actress Emilia Clarke, and Lucy Hale, known for her role on “Pretty Little Liars.” Alexis Bledel, Emma Watson, Shailene Woodley, and Elizabeth Olsen were also named as potential contenders.
Similarly to Hunnam’s announcement, fans were seemingly disappointed when Dakota Johnson was cast in September. One of the leading petitions specifically requested Alexis Bledel and Matt Bomer to replace Hunnam and Johnson. Once Hunnam stepped down, many expected Johnson to follow suit, but the young actress and daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson stuck with the role.
Some fans are still in a tizzy, particularly after trailers for the film were released. Some think that the casting doesn’t align with the book’s characters and feel the actors’ performances will be lackluster and boring. The film’s producer, Dana Brunetti stated, “There is a lot that goes into casting that isn’t just looks. Talent, availability, their desire to do it, chemistry with other actor, etc. So if your favorite wasn’t cast, then it is most likely due to something on that list. Keep that in mind while hating and keep perspective.”
After its Valentine’s Day 2015 release, we can all expect to hear the opinions of the many fans of the series. Until then, it’s nothing but speculation.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)