We officially have our new Christian Grey, everyone! Once Upon a Time's Jamie Dornan has been cast to play the Fifty Shades of Grey billionaire, opposite Dakota Johnson (Ben and Kate) as Anastasia Steele, for the film adaptation of E.L. James bestselling erotic novel. This casting choice seems to be going over significantly better with 50 Shades fanatics than the initial casting of Sons of Anarchy's Charlie Hunnam (but they're still pissed that Ian Somerhalder didn't win the role). But what do Dornan fans think? Well, the news isn't exactly sitting well.
Once Upon A Time fans of the man also known as Sheriff Graham took to Twitter following the announcement to express disappointment and the feeling that their beloved Sheriff (even though he hasn't been on OUAT since its first season) had stooped below himself to accept this role. And I'm inclined to agree, considering his BBC show, The Fall, is incredibly cool and comes complete with an impossibly perfect co-star. (Gillian Anderson, do you ever age?) It's impossible that The Fall wouldn't have put him on the map sooner than later. He's got potential to move up, but Fifty Shades might be a risky vessel for the ex-Calvin Klein underwear model to do it.
But Once Upon a Time fans are hardly alone. Sons of Anarchy fans came out in droves to mourn the news of Hunnam's casting before the actor dropped out of the project. Because no one wants their favorite actors to star in Fifty Shades of Grey, and I'd venture to say that that's for good reason. As someone that consumed the Fifty Shades trilogy with curious hate-reading fervor, I could understand how we might fear for our talented favorites attaching themselves to its film adaptation. The project — with its ridiculous premise and status as "mommy porn" — could potentially be a gaffe that forces an actor to take an epic step backwards. For those that are pushing for Somerhalder and Matt Bomer for this role, think again about what you're asking. Would you ever be able to watch The Vampire Diaries or White Collar the same way again after seeing your heroes as Christian Grey? You LOVE these actors, right? Why would you fate them to a film that regularly drops lines of dialogue like, "Holy crap"?
Like I mentioned, Fifty Shades will be risky for Dornan. There's no denying that starring in the highly anticipated adaptation of E.L. James' novel could skyrocket him to the same stardom that met Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson at the top of the Twilight franchise, but will he be able to separate himself from the character? Considering that the film and the character he's set to play will be significantly more controversial on screen than Edward and Bella, it might be much harder for Dornan to move on when the hoopla is over. After all, it's been difficult enough for both Pattinson and Stewart, despite the very un-Twilight projects (Cosmopolis, On the Road, etc.) they've accepted in recent years.
It's no secret that there's a stigma attached to Fifty Shades of Grey and its impending film adaptation. The novel's subject matter doesn't exactly translate to Oscar material, and its content definitely won't be easy to show on film. (Godspeed to whatever writer is in charge of this feat.) The fact people are embarrassed to be seen reading it in public also doesn't help its cause. Will moviegoers, too, be embarrassed to see Dornan play the S&M purveyor in theaters? Most definitely. There's no wonder some are already claiming the Fifty Shades production is "cursed."
That said, the Fifty Shades of Grey film could surprise us. I really hope it does end up being an excellent adaptation of a so/so fan-fiction novel. I hope it's so good a project, that those who are cast in the sequel are cheered on and celebrated. There's always that chance, even if it seems like one-in-a-billion right now. But, right now, Dornan fans are worried, and don't want to see him in the Red Room of Pain. Even if he is really hot.