'50 Shades of Grey' Casting Now Narrowing Down Top Choices for Christian & Ana

christian cooke in magic city
Could Christian Cooke become Christian Grey?
Sounds like Fifty Shades of Grey movie execs are sloooowly, but surely nailing down casting for the lead roles. Although we heard earlier in the week that Dakota Johnson might be the top contender to play Anastasia Steele, sources tell Variety that there are actually three other actresses in the mix: Alicia Vikander (from Anna Karenina), Imogen Poots (a British actress with hefty resume) and Hollywood's current "It" girl Shailene Woodley.

And while the four ingenues have been mentioned as favorites of Sam Taylor-Johnson and studio execs,  apparently there is NO frontrunner right now ... And more actresses could still be brought in! Geeze.

As for Christian ...


Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam, also reported as a shoo-in for the part, actually passed on the role (does that mean he was offered it in the first place? Agh!) last week. BUT he may now be reconsidering and was expected to meet with execs yesterday. 

In the meantime, the studio has reportedly also met with Christian Cooke (from Magic City) and Theo James (also starring in Divergent), but ultimately came to the conclusion that they want a guy in his early 30s vs. mid-to-late 20s. (Even though Christian is supposed to be 28, but sure, okay ...)

Nonetheless, sources at the studio say no offers have been made to any actors, and it's unlikely we'll hear who is playing Ana until after Labor Day, although an actor may be named sooner! Eee!

Also interesting: Variety reports that production is expected to start at the end of October, which exec feel will give them plenty of time to get 'er done by August 2014. Because they won't have big special effects or CGI to worry about, they feel it's most important to zero in on the chemistry between the leads. Well, that's a relief.

Still, what a roller coaster ride. As awesome as the flick could (hopefully) be, it's enough already!

What are your thoughts on the latest buzz?


Image via Starz

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