UPDATE: Jennifer Ehle (“Zero Dark Thirty,” best known as Elizabeth Bennet in the BBC’s “Pride and Prejudice”) has been cast as Anastasia Steele’s mother in the upcoming big-screen adaptation of S&M-heavy “Fifty Shades of Grey.” As a reminder, Dakota Johnson (“The Social Network”) was cast in early September as Steele, and beefy Charlie Hunnam (“Sons of Anarchy,” “Pacific Rim”) will play Christian Grey.
EARLIER: After long speculation, Universal and Focus Features have cast Dakota Johnson (“The Social Network,” “21 Jump Street,” Melanie Griffith’s daughter) in the role of Anastasia Steele in “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Meanwhile, author E.L James has tweeted that Charlie Hunnam (“Pacific Rim,” “Sons of Anarchy”) will be Christian Grey, with Universal/Focus confirming this casting.
Kelly Marcel (“Saving Mr. Banks”) penned the script, adapted from James’ global bestseller centering on the hot-and-heavy S & M relationship between billionaire Grey and college student Steele.
Sam Taylor-Johnson is set to helm, with a slated release date of August 1, 2014.
The film is produced by Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti alongside Brit author James, whose “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy has been translated in 50 languages worldwide since its release. To date, the “Fifty Shades” trilogy has sold over 70 million copies worldwide in e-book and print, making it one of the fastest-selling book series ever.
Universal and Focus acquired the rights to the three books in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy in March 2012. Focus Features will market and distribute the first film in partnership with Universal. Subsequent novels in the series, “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed,” explore the couple’s deepening relationship. More info is on the official Fifty Shades of Grey Facebook page.