That didn't take long. After Charlie Hunnam dropped out of the much-buzzed-about movie adaptation of E.L. James' wildly bestselling Fifty Shades of Grey, the search was immediately on for the new Christian Grey, to star opposite our Anastasia Steele, Dakota Johnson. It is now being reported that Irish actor Jamie Dornan is in negotiations to take on the sexy lead role.
Dornan is most familiar to American audiences as Sheriff Graham and The Huntsman in ABC's "Once Upon a Time," and has also appeared on "The Fall," the U.K.-based series starring Gillian Anderson. In 2006 he appeared as Count Axel Fersen in Sophia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette." The thirty-one-year-old, six-foot-tall actor may not have had his big moment in the sun thus far -- but if negotiations come to fruition, that will all change. Hopefully, he's up for the fame. We expect so, as he's been dabbling with the spotlight for a decade; in addition to his acting roles has held gigs as a Calvin Klein model -- and Keira Knightley's beau.
The Sam Taylor-Johnson-directed adaptation of the erotic trilogy is scheduled for an August 1, 2014, release, and filming should begin this November, so we'll expect more casting news to reach us regularly -- as we mustn't forget that Christian and Anastasia aren't the only shoes to fill. Jennifer Ehle has been cast as Carla, Anastasia's mother, but we still have the roles of Ana's roommate, Kate, and Christian's bodyguard, among others.
In the meantime, what does this all mean for Johnson? Screen tests galore -- and with some of the names that have been floated around for the part of Christian, we can't imagine she's complaining.
Photo: Jamie Dornan/Photo © CC/RTPPT/Flickr