Matt Bomer as Christian Grey?
Matt Bomer Reuters

A longtime fan favorite for the role of Christian Grey in the film adaption of “50 Shades of Grey,” actor Matt Bomer, responded to backlash over the casting news this week. Two days after 50,000 fans signed a petition to get the 35-year-old actor to star in place of the film’s current lead, “Sons of Anarchy” actor Charlie Hunnam, Bomer commented on the filmmakers’ choices.

“I’m so grateful for the fans and touched,” said Bomer, also giving his support to the film’s hired stars. “I’m looking forward to seeing the movie with Charlie and Dakota [Johnson].” While Bomer is no longer a contender to star as the fictional character Christian Grey, a man described as a billionaire businessman with a sexual fetish for pain, he did promise to steal some of Grey’s qualities for the upcoming season of his USA series “White Collar.” “We’re definitely embracing more of a bad boy version of Neal this year,” he said.

The petition in question was started via the platform site in hopes of getting Bomer to star in the film alongside another fan favorite, “Gilmore Girls” actress Alexis Bledel, as fellow lead Anastasia Steele. While Bomer has responded to the controversy, Bledel, 31, has remained radio silent on the topic. According to her official Twitter page, she hasn’t made a post since July, around the same time casting buzz began surrounding the highly anticipated erotic romance film.

Despite Bomer being the longtime fan favorite for the role, with followers even creating unofficial trailers featuring him, Bomer originally professed indifference to starring in the film. “No comment, that’s my line on that,” said Bomer to UK’s Metro in February. “It’s very flattering that I’ve got fans who would like to see me in things,” he later added.