Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Ryan Gosling, Garrett Hedlund & Shailene Woodley Among The Actors Who Passed On 'Fifty Shades'

News
by Drew Taylor
September 5, 2013 10:25 AM
10 Comments
  • |
Fifty Shades Of Grey Dakota Johnson Charlie Hunnam

To an actor, a franchise is an attractive thing: it could mean years (maybe even decades) of solid, dependable work, with each subsequent installment usually incentivized to some degree and with the sense of community and family growing with each outing (many of the "Harry Potter" actors, both young and old, equated the experience to going back to school). In the mad scramble for big studio parts, a franchise is a sturdily proven gig. Which makes actors who pass on potential franchises somewhat baffling (remember when Josh Hartnett was repeatedly courted for Superman?)... Yet pass they do. While Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson ended up scoring the pivotal leads in "Fifty Shades of Grey," a number of Hollywood's elite passed on the project. Franchise schmanchise

According to a report in The Hollywood Reporter, Ryan Gosling was initially courted for the role of billionaire S&M enthusiast Christian Grey, but passed. Garrett Hedlund was also "courted" by Universal but "couldn't connect with the character." Matt Bomer, who appeared on a Change.org petition alongside Alexis Bledel, in a fruitless effort to have executives and filmmakers recast the movie, was apparently never in the running.

On the lady side of things, supposedly Felicity Jones was in the mix, but the 30-year-old actress seemed too seasoned to play 21-year-old college student Ana Steele, who engages in a dom/sub relationship with Grey. Shailene Woodley was interested, but her press commitments to "Divergent," which could become one of those fabled Next Big Franchises, got in the way. Interestingly, like Johnson, Woodley would have been the only Yank in a cast and crew dominated by Brits. Alicia Vikander, Imogen Poots and Elizabeth Olsen only got as far as being "considered," according to the report.

Amazingly, the movie's explicit sexual content seems not to have swayed any actor one way or the other (Woodley apparently was nonplussed), although this could be because nobody's read the script yet and it could be really, really tame. "Saving Mr. Banks" scribe Kelly Marcel's screenplay has been under lock and key, with only a handful of people even allowed to read (including Focus Features head James Schamus, producers Mike De Luca and Dana Brunetti, director Sam Taylor-Johnson and author EL James), so maybe it's just really mild and easy to manage.

If "Fifty Shades of Grey" takes off, of course, it could be a huge franchise and something that catapults Hunnam and Johnson, already on the cusp of stardom, into the next stratosphere. Of course, as the Hollywood Reporter points out, if it fizzles, its raw mixture of kink and camp could result in the next "Showgirls," something that star Elizabeth Berkley never recovered from, despite minor roles in the years that followed. But hey, who's to look a gifted franchise in the mouth?

Free Indie Movies and Documentaries    

10 Comments

  • j | September 5, 2013 7:32 PMReply

    I personally think after going through this book myself that the movie is going to bomb.I'm willing to bet my measily $12 hr job that it'll winde up on HBO or something along those lines and .I noticed they didn't approach any really good actors to do the movie just ones on the come up .Ryan gosling is a decent actor who gets wayyy too much credit for doing nothing basically .I think this movie will be recieved the same way the canyons was recieved its a poorly written book too.Its just basically some womens wet dream ripped straight from playgirl magazines.

  • bel | September 5, 2013 5:19 PMReply

    They girl just needs to be average-looking and not very smart, just like the readers of the book. But Christian needs to be dangerous and refined. Producers were right if they wanted Ryan Gosling and Garrett Hedlund for the role, they have the ambiguity required to play Grey convincingly. Pattinson is too feminine looking, no matter if the author modeled the character after his vampire character. Hunnam lacks the refinement. Too bad.

  • Deneice | September 5, 2013 2:59 PMReply

    I understand that trying to cast this movie has been difficult since the books are called "mommy porn". It doesn't help that the overall writing is not that great. But I like the basic story and I think this movie could have risen above the material with the right screenwriter and the right actors in these roles. I just have a completely different vision of this film than what they are trying to make. I think choosing Dakota Johnson for this role is a poor choice. Very poor. I think they want this movie to be as tawdry as possible. And that sucks when others have told stories of intermittently tormentous (and at times abusive) love (I am not condoning nor endorsing that type of relationship.) better (such as in Blue Valentine). The whole point is that they both come out the other side better people in the end. I don't see Dakota having the chops to bring that to life onscreen without sounding like some whiny little girl. I can only hope that director Sam Taylor Wood and screenwriter Kelly Marcel can bring it. Also, Charlie Hunnam has been on a highly successful, critically acclaimed TV show for a number of years, is he not considered a star on some level? And if not, then what about Julianna Marguiles whose career has mainly been in TV and theatre? What's with the snobbishness?

  • valery | September 5, 2013 1:30 PMReply

    Charlie doens't have the sophistication of Garrett and Ryan but we'll see...

  • Stacey | September 5, 2013 4:12 PM

    That's an odd sentence.

  • BETH | September 5, 2013 1:28 PMReply

    Only Twilight and its actors are worse than this crap. Ryan and Garrett made the right decision. Isn't it humiliating for Hunnam replacing an atrocious actor as is Pattinson? Charlie is a so so actor but not THAT bad...

  • Becks | September 5, 2013 1:05 PMReply

    You know good and damned well they didn't get anywhere near any A-listers for this heaping pile of sh*t. Ryan Gosling, my ass.

  • Linda | September 5, 2013 11:22 AMReply

    Oh please, Shailene was NOT interested. What press commitments does an actor have 6 months before their movie comes out? She's always shot down rumors whenever asked about this BS in interviews. Press commitments my ass.

  • gina | September 5, 2013 10:59 AMReply

    LOL It's NOT RPatz they wanted. But Garrett Hedlund and RyanGosling are way too good for this garbage. Smart move, guys. Only twimoms would drool for this idiocy.

  • CC | September 5, 2013 10:47 AMReply

    Actually, elsewhere Felicity Jones has been mentioned to pass the project due to not wanting to do full frontal nudity. The other actresses also mentioned being in consideration might also have passed the project due to content and not simply schedule.

Email Updates