Jamie Dornan Is Christian Grey in ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ Replacing Charlie Hunnam

October 24, 2013

Jamie Dornan has been cast as Christian Grey of “Fifty Shades of Grey.” The ‘Once Upon a Time’ actor replaces Charlie Hunnam and puts an end to feverish speculation as to who might portray the billionaire and S&M aficionado in the screen adaptation of the erotic novel.

To say that the E.L. James’ novel is wildly selling” is an understatement as it is the fastest selling paperback in publishing history. Yet as the countdown before filming was to begin of Sam Taylor-Johnson’s screen adaptation of the novel, we suddenly had a new chapter both of suspense and of fantasy…..

Who would Christian Grey be now that he would not be portrayed by Charlie Hunnam? And, as a sideline obsession, why did Hunnam really leave? Was it really just scheduling or, as per unconfirmed reports, were there creative differences over the script and the character, or did the ‘Sons on Anarchy’ actor simply desire to exit quietly from a potential future of frenzied-fan pursuit, typecasting, etc. etc. that can be the pitfall of taking on such a role?

‘Variety’ was the first to report that it is the 31-year-old Irish actor Jamie Dornan who takes on the role of Christian Grey and all that goes with it. Presently he is among the cast members of the ABC fantasy television series “Once Upon a Time” with fairytale characters who have contemporary alter egos. He is Sheriff Graham Humbert and The Huntsman of Snow White.

Jamie Dornan also appears on the BBC crime drama series “The Fall,” with co-star Gillian Anderson (‘The X Files’), which is set in Northern Ireland. He portrays Paul Spector, a serial killer. He has also been a Calvin Klein underwear model, and it’s a sure bet these photos will be rampantly searched for as well, as fans seek to envision him in his new role. As for his personal biography details, little is known other than that he once dated actress Keira Knightley and is now married to British actress Amelia Warner.

‘Variety’ quotes unnamed sources who say that the only other actor to screen test for the role alongside Dakota Johnson, the 24-year-old actress who was cast to portray Anastasia Steel, was Billy Magnussen. ‘The Hollywood Reporter’ quotes sources who say that a third actor was also screen tested; Francois Arnaud. If the sources are accurate it would appear that speculation over other contenders — who ran the gamut from Scott Eastwood, son of Clint Eastwood to Alexander Skarsgard of ‘True Blood,’ as well as Luke Bracey, Christian Cooke, and others — was just that, speculation, with an element of fantasy, no doubt.

The silver screen version of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ assuming no other sudden casting changes, is set to begin filming in November for an August 1, 2014 worldwide release, as it remains to be seen if historic book sales will translate intp a blockbuster movie.

A long wait? Meanwhile, check out some videos of Jamie Dornan — including some of his Calvin Klein modeling photos — below!

Pictures: PR Photos

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