Career Suicide: Charlie Hunnam Cast as Christian Grey

After close to a year of names like Matt Bomer, Ryan Gosling and Henry Cavill being thrown around, one finally stuck.  Sons of Anarchy and Pacific Rim star Charlie Hunnam was officially confirmed as Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie by author E.L. James via Twitter:

The gorgeous and talented Charlie Hunnam will be Christian Grey in the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey.

— E L James (@E_L_James) September 2, 2013

You know what?  This is not the type of shit you want to wake up to first thing in the morning.  I’m just putting that out there, right now.  Rumors had been flying that Hunnam was one of the names being thrown around for the role of the sadistic and emotionally stunted protagonist who seduces a naive and utterly weak girl named Anastasia through BDSM in the book.

Originally it looked like he was the latest in a string of actors who passed on it.  Cavill being the latest to ixnay the role.  News hit last week or thereabouts that Hunnam declined the role, but I guess the zeroes must have been right because we now know he’s going for it.

If you’re a fan of the books, this is not for you.  I can’t tell people what to read, but I read an excerpt to see what the fuss was about and to possibly add it to my book haul list and almost threw up.  Not because any of the “sex” in the book was too strong.  I got ill because the writing is atrocious and immature.  I won’t get into the factors as to why that book sold at all in this post.  Look for that in The Fun Times Podcast Ep. 6 this upcoming Sunday.

For Hunnam, this is not a good thing.  For one, I am not the only one who thinks the books are garbage.  Yes, there are tons of people who do think the books are great, but then again there are people out there who think One Direction are better than The Beatles or that Courtney Stodden is a talented young lady.  The books made money and studios are in the game to do just that.  Making a film adaptation of a book that has been much maligned came down to the numbers and the numbers were right.  If you wrote a book about your bowel movements and it somehow sold millions, then guess what?  You’d see your book on film.  Just ask the What to Expect When You’re Expecting authors…

Hunnam’s name was shopped around to play The Flash in a film adaptation based on the DC Universe superhero but how can he be respected by the fanboys and fangirls when he’s going to be in a film based on a crappy novel?  Not all actors will pick great roles, but the bad roles that they do pick can be forgivable to an extent.  Unfortunately, playing Christian Grey in a chick flick isn’t going to do anything for his options.  I’m not saying he can’t do chick flicks, but he should ask Gerard Butler about good choices, bad choices, and chick flicks.

After years of playing Jax Teller on Kurt Sutter’s epic show on FX, I don’t blame him for wanting to branch out a bit, but this isn’t going to do anything when–if they stay true to the books–it will be cheesy sex scene after cheesy sex scene.  Hell, Tom Hardy and Chris Pine did a chick flick in This Means War last year, and it didn’t affect how they were seen by the fans as they went on to star in Star Trek: Into Darkness or The Dark Knight Rises.

Unfortunately, Fifty Shades of Grey is too far gone for that to happen for Hunnam and while he may (or may not as most readers were hoping for Bomer to be cast) win with the ladies–something he already does easily in Sons of Anarchy for his bad boy with a heart portrayal of Jax–he’s put himself in the difficult position of having to try to distinguish himself in a movie based on a book that is woefully insufficient and lacking in substance.  That’s not an easy thing to do.  Though I sorta liked his earlier foray into romance in Deadfall, that movie didn’t do well, earning a paltry 33% Rotten Tomatoes rating.  What saved him was that it was an indie flick and it was never meant to see big box office numbers being released on VOD.  There will be no hiding with a Fifty Shades film… It will be out there for all to see.  Fanboys and fangirls can be pretty unforgiving, just ask Ben Affleck, and if he’s going to be The Flash or Aquaman or whoever, being Christian Grey is only going to lead to a lack of trust in his ability to portray any role us geeks hold dear.  Again, ask Affleck how Gigli and Daredevil helped him out…

The fact is Hunnam does have the looks and he can do the part of Christian Grey well, I am sure.   SoA fans remember his little scene with porn star Ima (Kristen Renton) at the end of season 4.  He can get pretty sadistic in his roles… Or abusive in this case:

Fact is, Charlie’s too good for the role.  I just might watch but it will be on mute and fast forwarded only to the parts where he’s looking cute.  There has to be a silver lining, right?