“Tony-nominated actor Billy Magnussen and ‘The Fall’ star Jamie Dornan tested Friday opposite Dakota Johnson for the role vacated by Charlie Hunnam,” an industry email that was leaked to the International Business Times reveals.
The reported testing for Christian Grey with Anastasia Steele’s Johnson comes on the heels of producer Michael De Luca opening up to reporters about the process of replacing Hunnam. According to the “Fifty Shades” producer, Johnson has been helping “look through candidates to see which chemistry kind of captures our attention.”
“She’s just so Anastasia Steele,” De Luca told E! News of the 24-year-old actress. “She’s the best partner a producer could have.”
Chemistry with Johnson was the main reason for Hunnam’s initial casting as Christian Grey. The Wrap reported that the two had to do a “chemistry read” to prove to the “Fifty Shades of Grey” producers that they could sizzle on screen. And while the producers must have agreed that they were a pair that could make the movie steamy, fans disagreed with the casting.
The backlash over casting Hunnam led producer Dana Brunetti to respond to the haters on Twitter. “There is a lot that goes into casting that isn’t just looks,” he tweeted at the beginning of September. “So if your favorite wasn’t cast, then it is most likely due to something on that list. Keep that in mind while hating and keep perspective.”
It’s currently unknown whether Magnussen or Dornan hit it off on screen with Johnson, but both men are hot replacements for Hunnam.
Magnussen, 28, has dabbled in film, television, stage and music. Best known for his role on the CBS soap opera “As the World Turns,” the actor has went on to guest star on “Boardwalk Empire,” “CSI,” “Blue Bloods” and “In Plain Sight.” In 2012 he was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a play.
Dornan, 31, is best known for his role in ABC’s “Once Upon A Time” as Sheriff Graham/The Huntsman. He’s currently starring in the Northern Irish drama “The Fall,” which has many speculating that he won’t be accepting the role of Christian Grey if it’s offered to him. “The Fall” was renewed for a second season with a January 2014 film start date, but it’s unclear if Dornan has officially signed on to return.
De Luca told E! that the role of Christian Grey will be refilled within the next month, but a source told IBTimes that fans might not have to wait that long. The process is reportedly being expedited in order to stay on track with the Aug. 1, 2014 theatrical release date.
What do you think of Billy Magnussen and Jamie Dornan? Let us know your thoughts on the next Christian Grey in the comments section.