“Fifty Shades of Grey” movie cast news has gone wild ever since Charlie Hunnam pulled out, and lead actress Dakota Johnson is helping the producers replace the former Christian Grey, Michael De Luca told E! News on the red carpet at the 2013 Hollywood Film Awards Monday.
The producer of screen adaptation of E.L. James’ best-selling erotic novel praised Johnson, 24, and essentially said there is no other actress in Hollywood but her that could pull off the sexy role. "She's just so Anastasia Steele. She's the best partner a producer could have."
But Johnson is much more than just an actress for the film. De Luca told the entertainment news site she also has had a hand at sifting through actors to play her leading man since Hunnam quit, citing scheduling conflicts. "She's helping us look through the candidates to see which chemistry kind of captures our attention," De Luca explained.
When it was announced on Sept. 2 that Hunnam, 33, and Johnson would star in the film together, he said he had no problem with the sexual content because of his previous work experience and that he and the starlet had dynamite chemistry together. Now, it’s apparently up to Johnson to find another male lead to match the intensity she had with the “Sons of Anarchy” star.
The producer added he was disappointed that starring the English actor didn’t work out. "Charlie, I think, is an amazing actor of his generation or any generation, and we just couldn't make it work in the time he had to transform into Christian Grey," De Luca said. "But I think if itis meant to be itis meant to be. I'm convinced we'll work together again."
Jamie Dornan and “True Blood’s” sultry Alexander Skarsgard have emerged as new frontrunners for the role, but De Luca would not comment. He said the Christian Grey role would be filled within the month.
"We're looking on your website, we're looking under rocks in Zimbabwe, in space, on the moon. We're looking everywhere, but I think in a couple weeks it will be announced and everything will be cool," DeLuca said.
Even though Hunnam dropped out right before filming was supposed to start, the producer said it would not affect “Fifty Shades of Grey’s” Aug. 1, 2014, release date and “we’re on track.”