A couple weeks ago, we reported that Ben and Kate star Dakota Johnson was in consideration to play the lead role in Sam Taylor-Johnson‘s adaptation of E.L. James‘ erotic novel, Fifty Shades of Grey. A tweet from James and a press release from Universal Pictures have now confirmed the casting of Johnson to play Anastasia Steele, a young college student who begins a relationship with young business magnate Christian Grey. [Update: Charlie Hunnam will play Christian Grey.]
Hit the jump for the press release. Fifty Shades of Grey is set to open on August 1, 2014.
Here’s the press release:
DAKOTA JOHNSON CAST AS ANASTASIA STEELE
IN UNIVERSAL PICTURES AND FOCUS FEATURES’
FILM ADAPTATION OF “FIFTY SHADES OF GREY”
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA, September 2, 2013 — Dakota Johnson will star as Anastasia Steele, the lead female character in Universal Pictures and Focus Features’ highly anticipated film adaptation of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” it was announced today. The film, which will be released by Focus Features on August 1, 2014 in North America, is being directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and produced by Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti alongside E L James, the author of the #1 bestselling book on which the film is based. The screenplay is by Kelly Marcel. The announcement about Ms. Johnson’s casting in Fifty Shades of Grey was made today by Ms. James.
Ms. Johnson’s first notable screen role was in the multi-Academy Award-winning 2010 feature The Social Network, on which Mr. De Luca and Mr. Brunetti were producers. Her subsequent movies include the upcoming feature Need for Speed, 21 Jump Street, and Universal Pictures’ The Five-Year Engagement. She also starred as Kate in the Fox Network comedy series Ben and Kate, which aired during the 2012-2013 season. Ms. Johnson is currently shooting the feature film Cymbeline.
“Fifty Shades of Grey” has become a global phenomenon and the trilogy has been translated in 50 languages worldwide since its release. To date, the “Fifty Shades” trilogy has sold over 70 million copies worldwide in e-book and print, making it one of the fastest-selling book series ever.
Universal and Focus acquired the rights to the three books in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy in March 2012. Focus Features will market and distribute the first film in partnership with Universal.
“Fifty Shades of Grey” follows the relationship of 27-year-old billionaire Christian Grey and college student Anastasia Steele. Subsequent novels in the series, “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed,” explore the couple’s deepening relationship. For more information please see the official Fifty Shades of Grey Facebook page.