The literary world was flipped upside down recently when E.L. James’ novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” became a New York Times best-seller. The erotic tales of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele are nothing new — saucy romance novels are published all the time. What caught the attention of readers everywhere was that the characters weren’t entirely figments of James’ imagination. The story actually started out as “Twilight” fan fiction, with Grey representing the sullen vampire Edward Cullen and Steele the timid Bella Swan.
For those of you who haven’t secretly downloaded the guilty-pleasure novel on your Kindle, here’s the gist: College graduate Ana Steele encounters Christian Grey, a savvy businessman with a need for domination and love of bondage who captivates her attention. Steele decides to give into her dark desires, and the two begin a sadomasochistic physical affair. They may be bad, but they’re perfectly good at it.
When the rights to the book were optioned by Universal Pictures and Focus Features, rumors began to swirl about who could star in the film. Would Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart take on the roles? Or would the part go to actors unattached to “Twilight”? The rumors are flying, and they’ve turned up some interesting possibilities.
When Ryan Seacrest spoke to Ian Somerhalder and addressed talk that he was “potentially” up for the role of the titillating male lead, he confirmed. He’s currently reading the first book and said he would take the job if it was offered to him.
“I absolutely would be up for it. It could be very, very amazing,” the “Vampire Diaries” heartthrob said. “I think [playing Grey] would be a pretty incredible thing, and hopefully, that could pan out.”
“He’s got a sex chamber? My character has that on ‘True Blood.’ He’s got his little dungeon,” the actor said in reference to Eric Northman. “I was born to the play that part.”
Both Somerhalder and Skarsgård have the vampire angle working for them. Since Grey was adapted from a blood sucker, they have the advantage of being familiar with a similar character — especially as both of the vampires they play happen to be bad boys with somewhat of a soft side.
Another name that’s been tossed around the Internet is Michael Fassbender. The “X-Men: First Class” actor scored a Golden Globe nomination for his role in “Shame,” in which he played a successful New Yorker struggling with sex addiction. There’s no word yet whether Fassbender is interested, but his knowledge playing a similar character will undoubtedly work in his favor.
And, what about the female lead? Who is brave enough to tackle the role of the naive, yet confident Anastasia? Kristen Stewart has a knack for taking on gritty, controversial roles and already has the added advantage of playing Bella Swan. Celebuzz reports that when EW approached the actress about the book, she said, “It’s funny — I heard about it yesterday. Rob and Wyck [Godfrey], our producer, were talking about it. I’ve heard it’s quite sexy, very titillating.”
Will she read the book? “Hell yeah!” she exclaimed.
If Stewart’s not interested in playing the character, perhaps fan favorite Nina Dobrev will take on the role — especially if her real-life beau Somerhalder lands the male lead. The “Vampire Diaries” stars already have chemistry as Dobrev falls for the charms and lure of Somerhalder’s character on the hit CW show. It seems like the perfect match.
The film is still in the early stages of development, so while none of the casting is anywhere close to concrete, it’s certainly off to a good start.
Who would you like to see star in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie? Sound off below!