'Fifty Shades of Grey' Movie Delayed Until Valentine's Day 2015 - What's The Competition?

Tags: Jamie Dornan - Dakota Johnson

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It seems the casting debacle concerning the Fifty Shades of Grey movie has greatly affected the production schedule of the film and as such, a major delay has been announced.

Jamie Dornan Fifty Shades of GreyJamie Dornan Will Play Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades of Grey Movie

Originally set for an August 2014 release, Fifty Shades of Grey will now be released on Valentine's Day weekend 2015. The news - exclusively reported by Entertainment Weekly - comes hot the heels of Universal/Focus Features' decision to push back production a month to allow for production to prep with new leading man Jamie Dornan. The Northern Irish actor - who replaced Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam - plays billionaire Christian Grey.

Originally, the movie was set to go up against Marvel's potential new franchise Guardians of the Galaxy with Chris Pratt, though it may have also had to contend with the United States and England's progress in the World Cup in Brazil.

"We see this movie as a global event," Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley tells EW. "The strength of this book is really worldwide, so we want to be able to take advantage of women who are invariably on vacation with their families during the month of August in Europe."

The movie to Valentine's Day weekend is a clever move in that it will have an even better chance of pulling in its key audience, though it also faces less competition. So far, the only other movies announced for that date is The Longest Ride, based on Nicholas Sparks' novel of the same name, and Spongebob Squarepants The Movie 2. It's almost guaranteed that several other romantic-comedies will join the fold, though Fifty Shades will ultimately have the marketing budget to render them utterly pointless.

Dakota JohnsonHey, it's Dakota Johnson!

"Together with the international marketing and distribution team, we've been looking really closely at the August date and becoming more and more convinced that the right thing to do for the movie was to push it," Langley says. "So even if Charlie had stayed, we still would have been making the date change."

The release date comes after Entertainment Weekly published the first character photos from the Fifty Shades of Grey movie, with Dornan looking dapper and little sadistic as Mr Grey and female lead Dakota Johnson - with newly dyed brunette hair - looked meek and innocent.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Dornan, 31, was actually contacted about the role of billionaire businessman Christian Grey before Hunnam officially dropped out the project - which was attributed to a busy schedule though appears to be rooted in script concerns. Check out our cheat sheet to the actor, in case you have absolutely no idea who he is. 

He tested for the role on Friday (October 18, 2013) opposite the female lead Dakota Johnson and in front of director Sam Taylor-Johnson, author EL James and producers Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti. Sources say the Tony-nominated actor Billy Magnussen and The Borgias star Francois Arnaud also tested, though it was Dornan who won out.

In 2006, the Dornan appeared in the Sofia Coppola movie Marie Antoinette and went on to appear in the drama movie Shadows in the Sun with Jean Simmons and Beyond the Rave - a Hammer Horror production.

Dakota Johnson is best known for her small turn in David Fincher's The Social Network though also appeared in The Five-Year Engagement, Beastly and 21 Jump Street. The other confirmed cast-members for the movie are Luke Grimes, Victor Rasuk and Jennifer Ehle.

Next Page: Check out our Fifty Shades of Grey cast gallery.

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