As E.L. James and "Fifty Shades of Grey" production team settled on Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson, some fans of the erotic best-selling book about an S&M relationship between a wealthy businessman and a college student have protested against the casting decisions. Producer Dana Brunetti heard it loud and clear.
Following the September 2 announcements by author James, Brunetti responded to the backlash. "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," he tweeted. "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."
Among many angry messages Brunetti received, a post called him an "idiot" for the castings, while another one read, "I hate you. #NoMattNoAlexisNoMovie," referring to Matthew Bomer and Alexis Bledel who were previously named strong contenders for the coveted roles.
Similar to the Batfleck situation, an online petition has been launched to drop the "Pacific Rim" actor and the "21 Jump Street" starlet, and urge to cast Bomer and Bledel instead. As of this writing, 12,500 people have supported it.
"Whenever you have a property with a rabid fan base like this book, you're going to get these very divisive results," says Erik Davis, a contributing editor for the movie ticketing website Fandango.com, to USA Today. "People are not going to like your choices, because you simply made a choice ... I think a lot of negativity is because the fans are not familiar with these actors."
Despite the outrage, Melanie Griffith was proud of her daughter. "My beautiful child Dakota has been chosen to play Anna Steele in 50 Shades," she tweeted. "Look out world! Here she comes!!! #proudmama."
To be directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson with a script by Kelly Marcel, the movie will be released on August 1, 2014.