Other A-list stars who passed on the lead roles in the erotic movie were Garrett Hedlund, Felicity Jones and Elizabeth Olsen among others.
As what E. L. James announced earlier this week, the feature adaptation of her steamy novel "Fifty Shades of Grey" is set with Dakota Johnson and Charlie Hunnam as the beautiful college student Anastasia Steele and the kinky billionaire Christian Grey respectively. However, long before the two were cast, the production team apparently had considered much more familiar faces for the roles.
From what The Hollywood Reporter has heard from sources, the original prototype for the S&M-loving businessman was Ryan Gosling, but he was not interested. "Tron Legacy" star Garrett Hedlund almost nabbed the role, but he passed in July as he could not "connect with the character." British TV star Christian Cooke, at one point, was in the mix.
Before settling on Hunnam, the team once questioned whether or not he could do a big film despite his recent appearance in "Pacific Rim". However, after a meeting was held on August 23 with director Sam Taylor-Johnson and producers Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti, Hunnam, who at first was reluctant, then agreed to ink the deal on Labor Day.
Similarly, the team explored several other options before securing Johnson, who is not a household name yet. Shailene Woodley appeared as James' early favorite. Though she would not mind the nudity in the flick's explicit sex scenes, Woodley turned down due to conflicting press obligations for "Divergent".
Felicity Jones drew interest as well as she had the look and ability. The 30-year-old British actress, however, is "too old" to be a 21-year-old girl. Alicia Vikander, Imogen Poots and Elizabeth Olsen were other names reportedly in contention.
The casting announcements, made on Monday, September 2, have sparked protest and an online petition, which demands the team to cast Matthew Bomer and Alexis Bledel instead.
"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," Brunetti defended on Twitter. "So if your favorite wasn't cast, then it is most likely due to something on that list."