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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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 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.

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.

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

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