Mike Fleming

Our sister publication Variety is reporting that Jamie Dornan will be the choice to replace Charlie Hunnam as Christian Grey in Fifty Shades Of Grey. Though he and three other young actors tested opposite Dakota Johnson, word going back to last week was the Once Upon A Time alum was going to get the opportunity to go Full Fassbender in the racy Focus Features tale. Hunnam, after pressing Universal to bring in Patrick Marber to do some rewriting on the Kelly Marcel-scripted adaptation of the EL James novel, seemed to have one of those what-the-hell-was-I-thinking moments before he bailed abruptly on the role. While the production tried for True Blood‘s Alexander Skarsgard, this is probably a role best served with actors who have less to lose by baring all and doing scenes that might cause more experienced actors to turn Fifty Shades Of Red. There are genuine character moments for Christian and Anastasia that balance the sex, and they don’t need to be big stars because the book has sold so many copies around the world that it is the brand. The architects of the movie, from producers Mike De Luca and Dana Brunetti, to director Sam Taylor-Johnson and screenwriter Marcel (her Saving Mr. Banks got overwhelming reaction and jumped to the front of the Oscar line), it certainly seems like these young actors are in good hands as they take a plunge that will last three and more likely four films. Dornan’s repped by UTA.