'50 Shades' Fan Backlash Against Charlie Hunnam Sounds a Lot Like What Happened to Robert Pattinson

Robert PattinsonAs pretty much the entire planet knows by now, Fifty Shades of Grey has cast its leads -- Charlie Hunnam as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele. Whoo-hoo! Or, er, Hells naw! Depending. Right now, it seems like the Hells naw! group is vastly outnumbering the Whoo-hoo! clan. Especially for poor Charlie Hunnam. Sheesh man. People are even threatening to boycott the movie over the casting. It even slipped out -- thanks to that busybody screenwriter Bret Easton Ellis -- that author E.L. James' first pick for the Christian Grey role was Robert Pattinson. What a diff half a decade makes. For there once was a time when Rob was being booed and hissed -- for being cast as Edward Cullen in Twilight. Fans hated his casting as much as they do that of Charlie Hunnam now. Fans -- there's no pleasin' 'em!


Waaaaay back in 2007, as Twilight was getting ready to be cast, it was much the same anticipation and fierce debates about Edward as there was about Christian. Stephenie Meyer even had her fave picked out ... and it wasn't Rob Pattinson (nor Charlie Hunnam). At the time, Stephenie said:

Indisputably the most difficult character to cast, [Edward] is also the one that I'm most passionately decided upon. The only actor I've ever seen who I think could come close to pulling off Edward Cullen is ... (drumroll) ... Henry Cavill.

Henry, of course, was also a Christian fan fave -- and who can blame everyone for wanting him for every part? He is gorg. When he didn't get the role, Stephenie opined:

The most disappointing thing for me is losing my perfect Edward.

But soon she was cheering the casting of an actor known primarily for his small role in Harry Potter -- that of Cedric Diggory. His name was Robert Pattinson. Stephanie changed her tune and said:

I am ecstatic with Summit's choice for Edward. There are very few actors who can look both dangerous and beautiful at the same time, and even fewer who I can picture in my head as Edward. Robert Pattinson is going to be amazing.

But few agreed with her. Rob told the media that he was getting "bags of angry letters" from fans who were against his casting. He even told Entertainment Weekly:

I stopped reading [fansites and blogs] after I saw the signatures saying 'Please, anyone else.'

Yikes. Pretty harsh. And that was even after Rob was one of the four most popular picks on fan sites, along with Hayden Christensen, Orlando Bloom, and Gerard Way (who?).

Rob, of course, went on to win fans' hearts with his iconic portrayal of Edward. But he never forgot their initial lack of enthusiasm for him, describing it as "unanimous unhappiness" and joking: "That was fun!"

So who's to say the same won't happen with Charlie? All he has to do is turn in a stellar performance -- which he will -- and fans will forget all about the 50 shades of shade they're throwing him now.

Here's Rob reminiscing about his long-ago unpopularity:


Do you think you'll change your tune about Charlie?


Image via Summit Entertainment

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