Jamie Dornan replaces Charlie Hunnam as '50 Shades of Grey' lead

Jamie Dornan will play Christian Grey, a suave businessman with a kinky side.
Posted By Kate Stanton Follow @KateStan Contact the Author   |   Updated Oct. 24, 2013 at 9:17 PM

(UPI) -- As rumored, Northern Irish hunk Jamie Dornan will lend his brooding gaze to the highly anticipated 50 Shades of Grey film adaptation in the lead role of Christian Grey, The Hollywood Reporter revealed Wednesday.

The news comes weeks after Sons of Anarchy's Charlie Hunnam dropped out of the role over time constraints, though some media reports speculated that the 33-year-old actor didn't gel with the film's creative team and "got cold feet" about the intense media scrutiny.

Dornan, 31, has previously played Once Upon a Time's ridiculously good-looking, hipster-inspired Sheriff Graham. He currently stars in the U.K. series The Fall.

The Hollywood Reporter also said that Dornan did a screen test with Dakota Johnson in front of director Sam Taylor-Johnson, 50 Shades author E.L. James and the film's producers.

The film is slated for an August 2014 release date.

UPDATE: Here's how James, 50 Shades' social-media savvy author, responded to the news:

And here's how fans reacted:

Here's an example of the smoldering skills Dornan will bring to his work on 50 Shades:

Related UPI Stories
Top Stories
Why the fake braces trend may be dangerous for users
Jared Leto 'stopped eating' for his 'Dallas Buyer's Club' role
Kelly LeBrock arrested for DUI
Gisele Bundchen, Tom Brady drop $14M on Manhattan home
Brandi Brandt faces drug charges in Australia