Over the weekend, we reported that Charlie Hunnam has backed out of starring in Fifty Shades of Grey, citing his intense TV shooting schedule as the reason for his departure. Universal Studios is currently seeking a replacement, in hopes of getting production started next month. Today, we have word that Alexander Skarsgård (True Blood) and Jamie Dornan (The Fall) are two of the contenders for this coveted role.
Universal Pictures is also re-considering its initial list of front runners, including Theo James (Divergent) and Christian Cooke (Magic City). Garrett Hedlund (Inside Llewyn Davis) was another top contender during the original casting sessions, but he is currently shooting Angelina Jolie's Unbroken, and he is no longer available.
In addition, the studio has brought on screenwriter Patrick Marber to perform a polish of the screenplay, written by Kelly Marcel. There was speculation that Charlie Hunnam left because he wasn't satisfied with the script. However, sources say that Patrick Marber was brought on one day before the actor departed the project on Saturday. His writing credits include Closer, Notes on a Scandal and the upcoming Alan Partridge.
Sam Taylor-Johnson is directing this adaptation of E.L. James novel, which centers on the relationship between 27-year-old billionaire Christian Grey and college student Anastassia Steele (Dakota Johnson).