With the announcement that Focus Features will be taking care of the film’s US release and Universal Pictures International will handle all the other areas of the globe, the film version of Fifty Shades of Grey is going through some problems in the area of casting. So Fifty Shades of Grey equals, apparently, fifty shades of difficulty casting.
But once they get their bondage loving couple cast, the sequels will, hopefully take care of themselves. In the meantime, Author E L James will be co-producing the first film with Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti. Both Universal Pictures and Focus Features have acquired the rights to James’ follow-up books Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.
Now if they can just cast the lead roles, the BDSM saga can commence. A lot of names have been bandied (Bondaged?) about, names like Alexis Bledel, Mila Kunis, and Ryan Gosling have all been mentioned in the same breath as the book’s two main protagonists, Ana Steele and Christian Grey.
But in a move that seems to copy the BDSM theme of the books, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart are the “hot favourites” to play Steele and Grey on screen. The former Twilight couple, who used to be a couple in real life, have now split up and it doesn’t seem too likely that Pattinson would welcome the chance to appear onscreen with his ex Stewart.
Although the idea of a little “bondage” might just persuade Robert to forget about his current love interest Riley Keough just long enough to dish out a little “whipping” Stewart’s way. But “revenge” aside, the overall scope of casting the immensely popular Fifty Shades of Grey, will be difficult. Just the choice for the role of Steele will cause it own’s fifty shades of difficulty in the area of casting. How many actresses will be willing to appear in a “juiced-up” BDSM film?
The main reason that Stewart and Pattinson are considered the “odds-on” favourites is their onscreen chemistry that worked so well in the tweenie verse of Twilight. But since they were actually a couple during the filming of the Twilight franchise, they may not have quite the same chemistry as before!
But director Sam Taylor-Johnson, seems to think that despite their offscreen problems, the couple will still have that cinema magic required to make those S&M scenes sparkle! E L James on the other hand, has never considered either of the tween heartthrobs as possible candidates for her steamy protagonists. Although rumour has it that James is looking at the actors in a different light.
A grey one perhaps?
According to IB Times, “Last year, E.L. James stated that Robert and Kristen would not be considered for the film given their successful careers. Yet, it looks as if James has changed her mind on the matter.”
Allegedly, earlier in the year James was spotted in “deep” conversation with the Edward Cullen actor at his Hollywood get together and that during this conversation the casting of Christian Grey was brought up. So it looks like author James has had a possible change of heart.
The most recent news, from the Focus Features camp, is that both Pattinson and Stewart have moved up from the “wish-list” to top casting choice. According to a source, “Rob and Kristen will both have to audition like everyone else, although they are bang at the top of director Sam Taylor-Johnson’s wish list.” And what’s more, says this source, “They are virtually guaranteed to stimulate huge box office interest.”
There are obviously a lot of Stewart and Pattinson fans out there, but considering that these fans are all under the legal age to vote and drink, or to participate in any of the scenes from the book legally, it doesn’t seem as though the filmmakers are looking at the right demographic for their potential target audience.
But neither of these two ex lovebirds need worry about the prospect of working with each other just yet, Because so far the Fifty Shades of Grey casting seems to equal Fifty Shades of Difficulty.
By Michael Smith