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Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson to play Fifty Shades of Grey leads

Pacific Rim

Story by Jack Foley

BRITISH actor Charlie Hunnam and US actress Dakota Johnson have been unveiled as the lead roles in the big-screen version of erotic bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey.

The news was revealed by author EL James via Twitter on Monday (September 2, 2013), ending months of speculation over who would play Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.

Hunnam, 33, is best known for his work in hit US TV show Sons of Anarchy and starred in this year’s summer blockbuster Pacific Rim, while Johnson, 23, is the daughter of Miami Vice star Don and Melanie Griffith.

She has appeared alongside Justin Timberlake in 2010 release The Social Network and played the female lead in US TV show Ben and Kate.

Sam Taylor-Johnson will direct the movie version of James’ novel, which is scheduled for release in August 2014.

Published in 2011, Fifty Shades of Grey follows the sexually-charged relationship between billionaire Christian and college student Anastasia and became a literary sensation, spawning two sequels, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.

James, 50, has since become a household name, while combined the novels reportedly earned her $95m (£61.5m) last year.

As part of her Twitter announcement, James described Hunnam as “gorgeous and talented” and said Johnson was “lovely”.

The casting ends months of speculation surrounding who will play the roles, with everyone from Ryan Gosling, Ian Somderhalder, Channing Tatum, Emma Watson and Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke linked to the role at some stage.

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