UPDATE: Universal just made this official. The studio release is at the bottom of the original break.
BREAKING: Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam has officially been set to play Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey, the Universal Pictures and Focus Features adaptation of the runaway bestselling book series. Hunnam, who had been rumored for weeks, more recently starred in the Guillermo Del Toro-directed Pacific Rim. Author EL James made the casting official on her Twitter page. Sam Taylor-Johnson is directing a script by Kelly Marcel and Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti are producing along with the author.
This follows by minutes the official casting of Dakota Johnson to play the role of Anastasia Steele. Grey is the young, wealthy industrialist with a dark past who favors S&M relationships. His loyalty to the dominant-submissive subset is tested when he meets the young college graduate Anastasia Steele, who seems like the perfect girl for him.
The British actor is best known for playing Jax Teller in Kurt Sutter’s Sons Of Anarchy. I met him when I moderated the Sons panel that closed Comic-Con. I found him to be a very personable and charming guy, but in Sutter’s series, Hunnam has shown the ability to summon a dark edge which will come in handy in playing the emotionally damaged Christian Grey over the course of three movies.
He is repped by CAA and Brillstein.
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.