Depending on one's perspective, "Fifty Shades" fans either moaned or rejoiced this weekend when Charlie Hunnam, 33, dropped out of next year's "Fifty Shades of Grey" movie adaptation. Hunnam's "immersive TV schedule" was too much for him to adequately prepare for the role, the studios behind the movie said.
So, naturally, the next question is, "Who will play Christian Grey?" Who is sexy enough to bring the character with a taste for bondage to life opposite Dakota Johnson, who's set to play the female lead, Anastasia Steel? Here are some of the names on our short list, from Matt Bomer of "White Collar" to Ian Somerhalder of "Vampire Diaries." The role could also go to a relative unknown, so take a look and decide who you want.
After Hunnam was cast last month, fans were so outraged that their favorite, Matt Bomer, was not cast, that they filed a petition with Change.org that read, "Matt Bomer is the PERFECT DESCRIPTION OF CHRISTIAN GREY." The 36-year-old is the star of USA's hit "White Collar," where he gets to use his silver tongue as a former con man now helping the FBI. He also displays his ability to swoon the opposite sex. The openly gay actor, who in real life is settled down with partner Simon Halls, also had his "sexy" chops on display as a male stripper in "Magic Mike." This role seems right up his alley.
Two words: "Vampire Diaries." Fans of the show know Ian Somerhalder, 34, as the dark, brooding vampire Damon Salvatore, whose fast-talking almost makes him more likeable. He would be a great choice to be Grey that you love one second, then hate the very next. Somerhalder, who just split from longtime girlfriend Nina Dobrev, has one drawback, though. He recently spoke to HuffPost Live and admitted that his show films 10 months out of the year. The studios don't want another Hunnam, whom they cast, only to have to drop out weeks later. Either way, he's a solid choice.
Another veteran of some red-hot TV, Alexander Skarsgard, 37, has been making girls and boys blush for years on "True Blood." Indeed, his character on the show, Eric, actually owns a sex dungeon. When asked about his interest and whether he could bring the sexual character to life, he told Daily Chilli, "Absolutely. That wouldn't be an issue. I have a sex chamber in my basement -- my character on 'True Blood' [does] -- so I've had training." He has also been up front about how his sex scenes on the show and in recent movies like "The East" don't bother him at all.
If anyone can handle the fame and crazed fans that come along with a movie like "Fifty Shades," it's Hemsworth, who has starred in the "Hunger Games" franchise. The studios could also cash in on the publicity that comes with being Miley Cyrus's ex. The Australian actor split from Cyrus last month. If Hemsworth was worthy enough for Sylvester Stallone to cast in "Expendables 2," why not in "Fifty Shades"?
Robert Pattinson was actually "Fifty Shades" author E.L. James's first choice to play Grey, according to Bret Easton Ellis, a well-known novelist and screenwriter. If Hunnam isn't available to do the flick, why not go back to No. 1, no matter the reason it didn't work out the first time? The "Twilight" star would bring a huge following that has now grown up and could actually see the "Fifty Shades" movie when it hits theaters next year. Win-win all around. Fans would also love to speculate on whether he and co-star Dakota Johnson were involved, now that he has split from Kristen Stewart.
There is a long list of others who could handle the role of Grey, from "Friday Night Lights" star Garrett Hedlund to "Magic Mike" hunk Alex Pettyfer. And what about Ryan Gosling or even Jake Gyllenhaal? So what if they are big stars? Did anyone see Ben Affleck's casting as Batman coming. Guessing that's a "No." Such A-listers could sneak in and take this mega role for themselves now that it's open.