After months of prolonged teasing, in which tantalizing promises were made then withheld repeatedly in a clumsily rendered appropriation of seduction, the Fifty Shades Of Grey movie has at last shoved its stars into the waiting void of the public consciousness, with little regard for its feelings. (That’s what makes it so erotic.) Dakota Johnson will take on the role of Anastasia Steele in the Sam Taylor-Johnson film, her experience with being put into awkward positions and humoring the simpleminded on Ben And Kate lending itself to the story of a youngish girl who bends to the dominant will of her emotionally damaged but sexily wealthy lover, all for the titillation of the barely literate. And Charlie Hunnam will play that lover, Christian Grey, with the Sons Of Anarchy and Pacific Rim star applying his past experience with wrangling cold, clunky machinery to the mechanics of E.L. James’ novel. Also, probably to some sex toys—which are things are so excitingly taboo, they merit their own billion-dollar publishing phenomenon.
Naturally, the unexpected insertion of Johnson and Hunnam into roles that had already been dream-cast for months now has provoked a collective “Holy crap!” from the Fifty Shades fandom, expressing its deflowering in the way all real adults would. Those who are still discussing what might have been include Fifty Shades superfan Bret Easton Ellis, who revealed that he’d spoken to E.L. James over the summer, and that her first choice for the role of Christian was Robert Pattinson—hardly a surprise, given that James wrote Fifty Shades as Twilight fan-fiction and the implicit limits of imagination. Slightly more supportive was Johnson’s mother Melanie Griffith, who tweeted, “My beautiful child Dakota has been chosen to play Anna Steele in 50 Shades. Look out world! Here she comes!!! #proudmama”—thus speaking for the novel’s main audience of moms making everyone uncomfortable.
In related news, the end of these Fifty Shades casting rumors has left entertainment reporters feeling emotionally empty, a brooding inner torment that is also irresistibly sexy.