Fifty Shades of Red: Outraged Fans Demand New Stars

Widespread dissatisfaction has led to grousing on social media — there's even an online petition urging producers to recast the film

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Frederic J. Brown / AFP /Getty Images

Actor Charlie Hunnam arrives at the premiere of "Pacific Rim" in Hollywood on July 9, 2013

Turns out there are two kinds of Fifty Shades of Grey fans: those who support the decision to cast Dakota Johnson and Charlie Hunnam (pictured) in the lead roles of the upcoming movie adaptation of the mega-selling novel — and those who most certainly do not. As of now, the latter is the more vocal group, made up of dissatisfied hordes who feel that the stars lack the sufficient charisma or sex appeal.

The selections, first reported by author E.L. James on Twitter, gave fans two faces to match the images in their heads (careful, though, with those images) of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. But it seems neither star fits what everyone had in mind. One Change.org petition — with over 10,000 signatures by Tuesday afternoon — called for White Collar’s Matt Bomer as the “perfect description of Christian Grey” and Gilmore girl Alexis Bledel as the “perfect actress to represent Anastasia Steele.” (O.K., the petition actually has that in all caps, but we spared you the digital shouting.) Just think of this reaction as your Ben Affleck-as-Batman moment, but with an erotic-thriller twist to it.

One of the Focus Features’ producers on the movie, Dana Brunetti, took to Twitter to respond to the rash of critique, gamely trying to remind people of the various factors that go into casting a major production.

https://twitter.com/DanaBrunetti/status/374649878388817921

But as online petitions rarely achieve their desired goals, we should probably expect Hunnam, best known for his role in Pacific Rim and the FX series Sons of Anarchy, and Johnson, who played supporting roles in The Five-Year Engagement and The Social Network, to be our Christian and Anastasia.

Remember, fans, you don’t have to watch if you don’t want to. If you don’t watch, though, there’s at least one fan excited about the choices: Johnson’s mom, actress Melanie Griffith.

https://twitter.com/MelanieGriffith/status/374625603674075138

Fifty Shades of Grey, directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, is slated to open in theaters Aug. 1, 2014.

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37 comments
diverto_mist
diverto_mist

Personally would have loved to see IAN SOMERHALDER as Christian Grey. Ayee. I mean c'mon, this is 50 shades of grey, it's supposed to be totally hot and steamy. I...don't think the above actors are attractive. I really think that they should have run a poll for casting the actors; since 50 shades is so popular with people. :)

seattlesueann
seattlesueann

I will not be going to this movie with these actors in it. They do not fit the profile from the book at all!! I love the books and my vision of the characters totally deflates my balloon when I look at who was picked for the lead characters.

voliveri
voliveri

I think everyone should re-read this book, charlie does not have the face nor bone structure for this role, he is a common actor who does not belong in the role as christian gray. what the hell were they thinking, as for the actress she is wrong as well, she does not look innocent where as Mrs steel is!!!!!!! stupid ass people are going to ruin the book by sticking blond idiots in this movie,  Alexis Bledel is perfect, she has the look for it and the innocent smart face. re-read the book for all the idiots who think the cast is QUOTE ON QUOTE PERFECT a BIG FAT NOT!!!!! big me the mic and i will blast the cast and the stupid people that chose them for the the roles. DISAPPOINTMENT

FabyOchoaGarcia
FabyOchoaGarcia

PLEEEEAAASEEE!!!! LISTEN TO MEEE!, Antonio Cupo should be Christian Grey, he is SOOOO much cute than Charlie Hunnan .

wmart08
wmart08

I for one think Charlie Hunnan is PERFECT...when out of SOA character he is handsome, intellegent and well versed.  his role as Jax will enable him to pull off the "kinky" side of Christian....I loved the Shades of Grey series, however, I think labeling it as porn is a little unwarranted.    I was a bit dissapointed after all the hype regarding how "dirty" it was...In my opinion we see much worse via HBO and Cinemax on a daily basis....

frenchprofessor
frenchprofessor

I really wonder where Alexis Bledel's name came from to be the front runner as the best female lead for 50 Shades. She is best known for her portraying of a smart and studious student in Gilmore Girls, not as a kinky girl. Look at her resume, she obviously try to give a classy image, no nudity, and she appears the same image in public, with no excesses, . She is the opposite of a Sharon Stone, and that is what 50 Shades needs. She should stick to top directors like Robert Redford and build a career of strong roles, not lose all she has build to make a quick buck in a soft porn B movie that can do nothing but hurt her down the road. I absolutely cannot imagine she ever showed interest, so her name in the ballot is truly puzzling.

chandra.r1970
chandra.r1970

I think the casting is God awful. Apparently, like me,  millions of the fans of EL James' trilogy will not pay to see this movie because of the casting choice.  What is so upsetting is that they do NOT care what the fans want.  And when the book fans disagree, they are called haters. They put these two most unlikely characters here on the web and complain about people saying ugly things about them. I think both Charlie and Dakota know they are not right for the part if they read the books. They'll just need to deal with this movie being an epic fail because fans are boycotting the movie.  

I like the imagination I have about what Christian and Anna look like. Dakota's hairline is so far back, she would have to wear a wig to cover that up. Actually this girl has NONE of the facial features that fit the Anna description. They might could clean up Charlie however, he's too short...hidden platform heels for him??? I don't think Charlie or Dakota are actually ugly, they just dont fit the parts. Guess I'll wait until I'm old to see a re-make of the movie if that ever happens. 

ShawnaFoster
ShawnaFoster

This is so silly!! If you don't like the cast then fine unlike the 50 shades of gray pages and find another book and maybe they might make it into a movie! Do not mess it up for the rest of us that are happy with the cast and/or movie! I think that they will be great!! The actor that everyone wanted DIDNT WANT THE PART!! So the recasting wont work! 

glmccx
glmccx

Charlie Hunnam is perfect but Dakota is a damn blonde.  He only had blondes stereotyped in his office -  Anastasia was brunette!!!

reidh
reidh

Jus sayin' You'll be sorry producers, if you don't up the casting ante. are you listening? I guess not. KA-BOOM  BOMB!

reidh
reidh

Producers Take HINT. They are not kidding. They won't go to or buy your movie. Those people you are hiring because they are newbies and cheap are not to the taste of those who like and have read and/or give a shi'ite about that book. I won't go to or buy movie or book. I read it on newstand in 1/2 hour, its fan bdsm porn fer crissakes. Get porn stars. jemma james etc.

taniareyes40
taniareyes40

People who are upset about this casting are ridiculous! I' am a HUGE fan! & yeah I had my own image of Christian Grey& Anastasia but come on, its difficult to actually find people who have that strong chemistry. I'am so ready for Aug 1 2014 ! Don't let me down!!

MadelineLopez
MadelineLopez

I'm not too sure about Dakota Johnson as of now, but I think Charles Hunnam is perfect for the role!

AnnaPatterson
AnnaPatterson

I have not read this book, but I have joked about it with friends. 

IceToes
IceToes

Yay!! I used my money/influence with people old enough to remember when I was cute to get my indifferently talented daughter cast in an expensive porno!

spookiewriter
spookiewriter

The best thing to say here is "get over it". The book is bad porn written with a 10th grade, just got some pubes, maturity. The Penthouse forums were far better and never tried to be anything they weren't.

It just doesn't matter who stars in the flick. It will be every bit as unintentionally funny as the book. 

consprcy_carrot
consprcy_carrot

Fans need to realize screen adaptations aren't made for them; they are made to separate an entirely different group of people from their money.

MrSerendipityHP
MrSerendipityHP

Wow. (Some) Women take their softcore pretty seriously. 

silverose
silverose

  I don't see how parents should be proud about their daughter starring in a pornographic movie.

kwmom
kwmom

We've all seen movies that have had potential but that were ruined by casting choices. I think there is definitely a talent to being able to pick the right person for an acting job. And it's not like they have to give an Academy Award winning performance. Maybe a lot of actors weren't willing to take the chance or didn't want to be branded with this type of work? Or maybe the casting agents saw more than the meets the eye? 

i.i.mee
i.i.mee

Simple solution if you do not like this casting move. Write your own damn novel, get it made wildly popular, talk someone into investing millions to make a movie of it, cast it your own damn self. Nuff Said.

MTH
MTH

I think I can see the actor doing well and we will see about Dakota.  I loved her parents so i am sure I will like her too. 

DwDunphy
DwDunphy

So horny moms everywhere are disappointed that Hollywood made the wrong choices in casting a movie adaptation. Now you know how every nerd/geek/uberfan has ever felt. Can't say I'm all that sympathetic.

frenchprofessor
frenchprofessor

@glmccx She can die her hair if brunette is so important, what is the big deal? Check Rita Hayworth and how many times she changed her hair in her career, why would this ever be a problem?

ShawnaFoster
ShawnaFoster

@reidh Really!! Are you talking for everyone? I know a lot of people that are happy with the cast! 

ShawnaFoster
ShawnaFoster

@reidh There is people that are happy with cast! So those of us that are happy with go see the movie and buy the movie! 

bryanfred1
bryanfred1

@silverose Billy Ray Cyrus said if he were a young woman with a foam finger he'd have done the same routine as his daughter.  "Different" standards?  I'd say inverted.

melancholicmess
melancholicmess

@kwmom - I read somewhere that some actors won't go near this project because of the 'porn' stigma attached to it. One reason why Garrett Hedlund probably turned it down.

kristen
kristen

@i.i.mee You said it perfectly, thank you!

  I am thrilled about the casting.

auronlu
auronlu

@Theincrediblemrfandom 

$! $! $!

I'm still kicking myself for not sawing off the serial numbers on the video game character fanfic erotica I wrote while burning off stress in grad school and turning it into a bestselling novel. I started with RPG characters; the result is laughable but still has to be better than starting out with Twilight.