"Fifty Shades of Grey" novelist E.L. James was very busy on Twitter on Monday morning. No sooner had she announced that
"The gorgeous and talented
Though Johnson's casting was a surprise, Hunnam's name had been bandied about of late as one of the leading candidates to play the 27-year-old billionaire who finds romance with a college student.
The 33-year-old British heartthrob is best known as Jackson "Jax" Teller on
The casting of Johnson and Hunnam ends months of speculation about who would play the lead roles in the adaptation of the first book in James' "Fifty Shades" trilogy. The trilogy has sold 70 million copies worldwide in e-book and print, making the romances one of the fastest selling book series.
Universal Pictures and Focus Features plan to release "Fifty Shades of Grey" on Aug. 1, 2014. Kelly Marcel is adapting James' book, and Sam Taylor-Johnson ("Nowhere Book") is set to direct.