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'Fifty Shades of Grey' Casting Watch: Jennifer Ehle Set to Play Anastasia Steele's Mother UPDATED

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood October 8, 2013 at 12:10PM

UPDATE: Jennifer Ehle ("Zero Dark Thirty," best known as Elizabeth Bennet in the BBC's "Pride and Prejudice") has been cast as Anastasia Steele's mother in the upcoming big-screen adaptation of S&M-heavy "Fifty Shades of Grey."
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Jennifer Ehle in "Zero Dark Thirty"
Jennifer Ehle in "Zero Dark Thirty"

UPDATE: Jennifer Ehle ("Zero Dark Thirty," best known as Elizabeth Bennet in the BBC's "Pride and Prejudice") has been cast as Anastasia Steele's mother in the upcoming big-screen adaptation of S&M-heavy "Fifty Shades of Grey." As a reminder, Dakota Johnson ("The Social Network") was cast in early September as Steele, and beefy Charlie Hunnam ("Sons of Anarchy," "Pacific Rim") will play Christian Grey.

Dakota Johnson in "The Social Network"
Dakota Johnson in "The Social Network"

EARLIER: After long speculation, Universal and Focus Features have cast Dakota Johnson ("The Social Network," "21 Jump Street," Melanie Griffith's daughter) in the role of Anastasia Steele in "Fifty Shades of Grey." Meanwhile, author E.L James has tweeted that Charlie Hunnam ("Pacific Rim," "Sons of Anarchy") will be Christian Grey, with Universal/Focus confirming this casting.

Kelly Marcel ("Saving Mr. Banks") penned the script, adapted from James' global bestseller centering on the hot-and-heavy S & M relationship between billionaire Grey and college student Steele. 

Sam Taylor-Johnson is set to helm, with a slated release date of August 1, 2014.

Charlie Hunnam in "Pacific Rim"
Charlie Hunnam in "Pacific Rim"

The film is produced by Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti alongside Brit author James, whose “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy has been translated in 50 languages worldwide since its release.  To date, the “Fifty Shades” trilogy has sold over 70 million copies worldwide in e-book and print, making it one of the fastest-selling book series ever.

Universal and Focus acquired the rights to the three books in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy in March 2012.  Focus Features will market and distribute the first film in partnership with Universal. Subsequent novels in the series, “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed,” explore the couple’s deepening relationship.  More info is on the official Fifty Shades of Grey Facebook page

This article is related to: News, CASTING WATCH, casting, 50 Shades of Grey, Charlie Hunnam, Jennifer Ehle


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.