It’s been an emotional roller coaster of a few weeks for fans of E L James’ Fifty Shades of Grey. First they had to deal with the largely unwelcome news that Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam would fill the expensive shoes of sex god billionaire Christian Grey. But they rolled with it and were starting to appreciate the more rugged appeal of Hunnam… only to face the sting of his abandonment when he bailed out of the Sam Taylor-Johnson adaptation slated to begin production this November. (Focus/Universal for now remains committed to their Aug. 1, 2014, release date).
“There is definitely a sense of fatigue around the film,” says Crissy Maier, the co-founder of Fifty Shades fan site Laters, Baby, which has more than 20,000 followers on Twitter. “People are worried about what’s going to happen and if the movie is going to be degraded. But that comes and goes in waves. Once whomever is going to play Christian is finally announced, people will get excited again.” On Monday, producer Michael DeLuce said their Anastasia Steele, Dakota Johnson, was participating in chemistry tests with actors. Here, Maier offers the Laters, Baby community ranking for the rumored short-list of actors still said to be circling the role.
1. Jamie Dornan: “He’s probably getting the most positive feedback. He has the right look and he’s also new enough that he probably doesn’t have a high price tag and he doesn’t bring too many preconceived notions of who he is. I saw him in one or two episodes of Once Upon a Time and he seemed like a good actor. I like his underwear ads myself.”
2. Scott Eastwood: “He’s cute, he has the right look, and having his father be Clint Eastwood, I think he’s prepared for the level of fame and knows what goes into it.”
3. Alexander Skarsgard: “The online response is mixed. There are definitely people who think he’d be great and there’s some people who worry he’s not what they pictured. I think he looks a little bit too old but he has talent and the right look if they can age him down with makeup.”
4. Luke Bracey: “I haven’t gotten quite as much feedback on him. He’s really cute so we know he’d be nice to look at. But he’s hard for people to gauge because he did a show in Australia.”
5. Billy Magnussen: “He’s getting a lot more negative feedback on our Twitter, just a lot of ‘Yuck!’ and ‘Eww!’ I suspect that has to do with the fact that he has lighter hair and a very young look in some of his pictures. I don’t know if that baby face is too much a contrast with what people picture when they think of Christian. But on the flip side he got nominated for a Tony, so he can’t be a bad actor.”