The former boyfriend of Keira Knightley beats another top contender Billy Magnussen to play Christian Grey opposite Dakota Johnson.
"Fifty Shades of Grey" has found its new male lead. According to Variety, Jamie Dornan has been picked to replace Charlie Hunnam to take on the role as Bondage enthusiast Christian Grey. He reportedly won the part over Billy Magnussen after a screen test on Friday, October 18.
The likes of Alexander Skarsgard, Francois Arnaud, Luke Bracey, Theo James, Clint Eastwood, and Christian Cooke were rumored considered for the key part as well. But by Wednesday morning, no one else, besides Dornan and Magnussen, was brought in for audition.
Hunnam dropped out of the project reportedly because he was overwhelmed by the attention he received from the movie. Another report suggested he clashed with producers over script issues. The "Sons of Anarchy" actor himself remained silent on the reason why he left, but he did say he's "doing good" and "just really concentrating on work."
Production for the movie adaptation of E.L. James' kinky book of the same title is expected to kick off this coming November for a planned August 1, 2014 release. Sam Taylor-Wood is tapped to direct, and Patrick Marber is hired to polish the script. Dakota Johnson is still on board to play the female lead, and Jennifer Ehle is billed as her on-screen mother.
Jamie Dornan, 31, is best known for his role in Sofia Coppola's 2006 film "Marie Antoinette". The former Calvin Klein model who once dated Keira Knightley plays The Huntsman a.k.a. Sheriff Graham Humbert on ABC's "Once Upon a Time" and portrays serial killer Paul Spector on BBC Two's series "The Fall".