Dakota Johnson

The search for Anastasia Steele, the much speculated over female leading role in the anticipated film adaptation of E.L. James' literary phenomenon "Fifty Shades of Grey," is over. The author this morning Tweeted that the character will be played by Dakota Johnson, best known for playing Kate in the now defunct Fox comedy series "Ben and Kate."

The 23-year-old Johnson, who is the daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, has also had small parts in "The Social Network," "21 Jump Street" and "The Five-Year Engagement." The Sam Taylor-Johnson-directed film will be released by Focus Features on August 1, 2014.

The erotic books (which originated as fan fiction for the "Twilight" series) follow the relationship between a college graduate, Anastasia Steele, and a young businessman Christian Grey (who has yet to be cast).

The trilogy has been translated in 50 languages worldwide since its release, and has to date sold over 70 million copies worldwide in e-book and print, making it one of the fastest-selling book series ever.