[dropcap]A[/dropcap]fter months of anticipation, speculation and an ever so slight amount of trepidation, the news that Fifty Shades fans have been waiting for is upon us. Mr Grey and Anastasia have been cast.
Last Summer Fifty Shades of Grey was on everyone’s lips (and Kindles). Written by E L James, the trilogy of books sent many weak at the knees, as they devoured page after page of devilishly dominating play between Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. When the whispers of a movie adaptation began to surface, the frenzy reached fever pitch. Who would play the two lovers? More importantly, who will play Mr Grey? Suggestions were plentiful and it seemed at one point that most of Hollywood were clamouring to play the enigmatic entrepreneur. Early front runners were Matt Bomer and Ian Somerhalder, but as the months rolled on there still hadn’t been any confirmation of casting, until this week. Charlie Hunnam has been confirmed as Mr Grey, and Dakota Johnson will step in to the willing shoes of Miss Steele.
Those of a certain age will remember Charlie Hunnam in the Channel 4 drama Queer as Folk. The show itself pushed the boundaries, even for Channel 4. The two seasons premiered in 1999 and followed the lives of three gay men living in Manchester. Green Street couldn’t have been any more different from Hunnam’s breakout role if it tried. Focusing on football hooliganism, the film also starred Elijah Wood as a newly inducted member of the West Ham ‘Green Street Elite’ firm. As with the scenes of a sexual nature in Queer as Folk, Hunnam did not shy away from the brutality portrayed in the violence laden film.
More recently he has been starring in the hit Sons of Anarchy, where he can be seen sporting a bandana and beard as he leads his motorcycle crew in the town of Charming. At the premier of the FX show’s sixth season, Hunnam told The Hollywood Reporter that his role in Queer as Folk alleviated some of the fear of the films inevitable saucy scenes: “I mean I’m 16- and 17-years wiser now. So if I could do it when I was 18 with a guy, I can certainly do it at 33 with a lady.” He also spoke about his future co-star, Dakota Johnson. “As soon as we got in the room and started reading with Dakota, I knew that I definitely wanted to do it, because there was a tangible chemistry between us.”
Dakota Johnson wasn’t a name that many spoke of, but the daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith leapt ahead of the competition to take the role of Ana Steele. Making her debut in her mother’s 1999 film Crazy in Alabama, her career has steadily progressed with roles in The Social Network, Beastly and 21 Jump Street. It’s safe to say that none of her previous roles will be as big as the initially demure Miss Steele.
The film is due to be released in 2014 with Sam Taylor-Johnson directing.