Anastasia Steele has finally met her match. Irish actor Jamie Dornan is in final talks to play the billionarie BDSM enthusiast Christian Grey in the adaptation of EL James’ best-seller Fifty Shades of Grey. Focus/Universal, declined to confirm, but an inside source says the deal is in its final stages. The studio, to say nothing of the trilogy’s ardent fans, was thrown into overdrive when the original Christian, Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam, abruptly bowed out of the production two weeks ago. The casting of 31-year-old Dornan alongside Dakota Johnson’s Anastasia will hopefully steady director Sam Taylor-Johnson’s production that is slated to begin shooting mid-November.
Dornan began his career in front of the camera modeling for campaigns like Dior, Armani, and, quite memorably, Calvin Klein underwear. It seems fitting that the man who will play the 28-year-old CEO of Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc. was once dubbed “the Golden Torso” by The New York Times. He made his film debut in Sofia Coppola’s 2006 movie Marie Antoinette, and has since gone on to guest star as Sheriff Graham in the ABC series Once Upon a Time and play a serial killer in the BBC miniseries The Fall. The six-foot former rugby player married actress Amelia Warner in 2013 and the couple is reportedly expecting their first child together.
Here is a clip of Dornan looking lovely and brooding and rich, attributes that will come in handy for the franchise that now rests largely on the appeal of his ripped back. Fifty Shades of Grey is scheduled for release on August 1, 2014.