Jamie Dornan and Christian Cooke are also on the list of possible contenders to replace Charlie Hunnam, while Patrick Marber is hired to rewrite the script.
As Charlie Hunnam dropped out of "Fifty Shades of Grey", the search for Christian Grey begins again. Sources say "True Blood" hunk Alexander Skarsgard and "The Fall" star Jamie Dornan emerge as possible contenders for the lead role.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Universal Pictures is also considering "Divergent" actor Theo James and "Magic City" star Christian Cooke who had circled the role before Hunnam snatched the part. Garrett Hedlund, who was also offered the role in the first round of casting, is out of the race due to his commitment to Angelina Jolie's "Unbroken".
"White Collar" star Matthew Bomer and "The Vampire Diaries" heartthrob Ian Somerhalder remain fans' favorites to play the kinky billionaire.
Hunnam exited the highly-anticipated adaptation of E.L. James' novel due to scheduling conflict. He's currently busy filming FX's series "Sons of Anarchy". The production is reportedly to finish in October, giving him only about a month to prepare for the role before "Grey" starts shooting in November.
A source, however, told THR that the actual reason he departed the project was the attention that he received from being cast as the male lead. His casting as well as Dakota Johnson's were met with backlash after announced in September.
Johnson, who is still on board to play Anastasia Steele, reportedly feels the same pressure. "Dakota is having a very hard time dealing with all the press," a source tells E! News. "When she first got the role, it was way too much for her." From being a virtual unknown to someone "everyone wants a piece of" has "been tough" for the "21 Jump Street" actress.
In other "Grey" news, Patrick Marber is hired to do a polish and character work on the script. The Oscar-nominated screenwriter's credits include 2004's "Closer" and 2006's "Notes on a Scandal".