Fifty Shades of Grey finds its new lead

Jamie Dornan is the new lead in Fifty Shades of Grey.
Jamie Dornan is the new lead in Fifty Shades of Grey.

Fifty Shades of Grey has its male lead - again.

Jamie Dornan has been cast as Christian Grey, the lead role that Charlie Hunnam withdrew from recently.

Dornan will star alongside female lead Dakota Johnson, with Sam Taylor-Johnson directing. Shooting is planned to begin in November, with a release in August next year.

Hunnam's departure left the project momentarily reeling. The big-screen adaption of EL James' bestselling erotic novel has been carefully followed by its fans, who were critical of Hunnam's casting.

The 31-year-old Dornan, a former model from Northern Ireland, is relatively unknown. He's starred in the British TV series The Fall and the ABC series Once Upon a Time.

Unlike with Hunnam, social media reaction to Dornan's casting was generally positive.

"I'm a monstrous fan. Wasn't allowed to be attracted to him on The Fall because he played a sexmurderer. 50 Shades is my big chance! Wait, Christian Grey isn't a murderer right?" wrote Girls star Lena Dunham on Twitter.

- AP

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