Following the announcement that Dakota Johnson and Charlie Hunnam will take on the lead roles in the raunchy adaptation of E.L. James' book, we try to understand why there has been such a backlash to their casting
It was announced earlier this week that after months of searching Dakota Johnson and Charlie Hunnam have been chosen as the lead actors to bring E.L. James' hugely successful erotica novel 50 Shades of Grey to life. After such a long time waiting, you would assume that Universal would have gotten the casting right at the first attempt, but according to a number of disgruntled, internet-based fans, this is not the case.
Dakota Johnson has been chosen to play Anastasia Steele in the movie
Hunnam could have found himself the role that turns him into a fully-fledged mega-star when he takes on Christian Grey, the young billionaire S&M enthusiast, but that is providing that the angry online fans don't scare him out of the job before he's even begun filming. Having been picked ahead of favourites Ian Somerhalder and Robert Pattinson, various commentators are complaining that Hunnam just doesn't fit the description of Grey in in James' books. He may posses the gym-sculpted body, the necessary age gap and the element of badass needed for the role, but without the right looks he apparently won't cut it in the movie.
As for Johnson, she is being dragged through the mud partly for her age - she turns 24 soon, a few years older than Anastasia Steele is in the book - and the fact that she looks nothing like the Anastasia Steele described in the books. Emma Watson had long been the favourite to star in the film, but never had any intentions in staring in it in the first place, and the casting crew have clearly struggled to find another actress with the same bookish innocence as the Harry Potter star.
Charlie Hunnam isn't everyone's ideal choice for the role of Grey
Nikki Yates of Digital Spy commented that "the guy they picked looks how I imagine Elliot to look like not Christian," a common comment amongst many disgruntled readers, with Yates also commenting that Johnson "doesn't look young and innocent enough" to play Ana. Elsewhere some have commented on how the wider ranging appeal of Hunnam and Johnson may make the film more appealing to those put off by the reputation of the book, whilst others are commenting on the pretty accurate assumption that most people don't care who is cast in the film anyone, because people just want to see some flesh. This Twitter comment kind of sums things up pretty well.
All judgement should really be saved for after the film, which will begin filming this fall and is set to be released next year. The casting of Hunnam and Johnson may be a controversial set of choices, but in the end they may turn out to be the exact right ones all along. Now all that is left is to wait patiently for the trailer.
Can Johnson handle Steele?