We’re entering a bizarre new phase of Internet/Hollywood evolution. Fans are now getting involved when their favorites are “miscast” by the studios.  Where 50 Shades of Grey is concerned I just have to roll my eyes. For one thing, it started out as Twilight fan fiction.  Then it somehow got marketed into a phenomenon, the terrible terrible awful that it is. There is a lot great erotica out there. This was not one of those. But I guess it peeled back the layer of a lot of sexually repressed women who long for a kink.  In this case that kink is BDSM.  Hey, if women are going to be raised on romance novels and Disney princesses sooner or later their sexuality has to also find a way. For many women, I suppose, 50 Shades of Grey is “it.” God help us.

Either way, the director is a woman, surprise surprise, .  That fact alone makes it interesting. As far as erotica goes, however, nothing will beat Blue is the Warmest Colour.  The casting of Dakota Johnson (daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith) and Pacific Rim’s Charlie Hunnam. Well apparently they don’t manifest the treacly fantasy of fanfic fanatics everywhere. Alexis Bledel and Matt Bomer are who they had in mind.


Look, if women need to get their groove on who are we to stand in their way? But how about we start by trusting the filmmakers that maybe, oh just maybe, they know what they’re doing? Just because it was birthed as fan fic doesn’t mean that its ultimate fate is in the hands of those fans. Their petition stands at 15K right now.

Meanwhile, the Ben Affleck petition, currently has 90,000 signatures to have Ben Affleck removed as the next Batman. This is even more in the realm of lol. Get a grip, people. I don’t mean to demean your fantasy world but seriously? It isn’t that I think Affleck is the best Batman or that Hunnam and Johnson are the best choices here – but let’s really look at what we’re talking about and what kind of precedent these petitions set. You have the choice to buy a ticket or not, to have faith in the filmmakers or not. You have a choice. There is this funny thing called reality. It’s out the window. Try it out some time. They’re just movies. It’s not the end of everything.

Load More Related Articles
Load More By Sasha Stone
  • cynthia

    matt and alexis are perfect!

  • Kevin Klawitter

    To be frank, these petitions would only set a precedent if they actually make a difference.

    As Matt Singer wrote on The Dissolve, no petitions would ever work because studios see them as a sign that the film in question has such a passionate fanbase that they are more or less guaranteed to go to see the movie no matter WHO is cast. As a result, they are even LESS likely to make a change.

    Matt Singer also started a petition to get people on the internet to stop making useless casting petitions, which he is fully aware is a fool’s errand. Still, you’ve got to appreciate the effort:


  • steve50

    Try and get signatures on petitions of relative importance – no time for it.

    Cast the wrong action figure/sex object and they’ll interrupt the ass-waxing to protest.

    Vox populi is becoming white noise static.

    (and either Bomer or Hunnam in cuffs is fine by me)

  • If you didn’t enjoy the weekend that the Batfleck phenomenom unfolded you need to check your funny bone. That shit was hilarious.

    In the history of fandom there have always been freakouts about casting. The only time I really flipped out was when they cast Kenneth Branagh as Gilderoy Lockhart. Everyone and their mother knew that should have been Hugh Grant. I wasn’t sure about Heath Ledger as the Joker either. I was in the Vincent Cassel camp. But I didn’t lose it like these people.

    On the Batfleck scandal I came from the opposite direction. I was worried about Batman ruining Ben Affleck’s resurgent career. Everyone else was worried about Affleck ruining Batman. I was against the casting but on his side. lol If that makes sense. I love that they used the actual White House petition to request a law, A LAW, against Affleck playing Batman. That takes the cake.

  • They can complain when a trailer comes out, until then, give it a rest.

  • Future_Filmmaker

    All i have to say right now is: Rush!

  • Unlikely hood

    Uh Sasha one thing you do on this site is agitate for the kinds of films you want to see; it’s a bit inconsistent of you to complain about signature-gathering fans doing the same thing.

    I get the bitterness that goes into the Chinatown quote on the masthead (we agree on Argo, Artist, King’s Speech, Lincoln, and most films), but we both know that “the choice to buy a ticket” doesn’t take away a right to complain. If it did, your site would just be an anodyne cheerleader site like so many others, and not the beautiful thing you made.

  • I was worried about Batman ruining Ben Affleck’s resurgent career. Everyone else was worried about Affleck ruining Batman.

    I’m not worried about either side of it. In fact, trying to tamp down feeling a perverse desire that it derails both of them in a spectacular double-helix nose-dive flame-out. I almost hope Affleck in Batdrag looks like one of those lumpy barrel-bodied gotham imposters in TDK. Envisioning Affleck’s Batman with that perpetual swarthy 5 o’clock shadow is giving me endless anticipatory schadenfreude. For months I’d already been wondering what’s wrong with me because I don’t give a shit if I never see another Batman movie ever again, so now I can stop feeling bad about that. The quicker Affleck quits with all this silliness the sooner he can run for President of this grotesquely absurd country.

  • Sasha Stone

    “Uh Sasha one thing you do on this site is agitate for the kinds of films you want to see; it’s a bit inconsistent of you to complain about signature-gathering fans doing the same thing.”

    That’s really different from starting a petition to embarrass someone like Ben Affleck. When I agitate about films I’d like to see I’m not talking about recreating a fantasy I have in my mind – and if I complained about this casting I would do it on Twitter, not start a petition. Very different things. Complaining is fine.

  • Tony

    Affleck doesn’t sound like such a bad choice, given that they want to make Batman older than Superman (Cavill) and that Christian Bale doesn’t want to return.

    I have ZERO interest in 50 Shades. I read a small excerpt online and it was one of the most laughable, poorly written things I have ever read. Fans of the book, insane as they may be, can’t be blamed for expecting somewhat bigger names casted.

  • Very different things. Complaining is fine.

    Exactly. Radical activism and complaining are two different things — and I think what I’m doing is a third thing altogether. I don’t really care enough to complain. I’m grousing but I don’t want to change anything. If the casting somehow works, great! If it’s a disaster, that’s fine with me too. No matter the outcome I know how to entertain myself, either way.

  • You’re a flip-flopper! *throws a bedazzled flip-flop at Ryan*

  • Aaron B

    Love the fans throwing out names like Ryan Gosling for the part. People should be reminded that an actor would have to agree to be in this fucking movie in the first place. I’ve read sections of this book out of curiosity and it’s laughably bad. My favorite passage:

    “Leaning past me, he switches the gas off. The oil in the wok quiets almost immediately.
    “I think we’ll eat later,” he says. “Put the chicken in the fridge.”
    This is not a sentence I had ever expected to hear from Christian Grey, and only he can make it sound hot, really hot.”

  • murtaza

    They would never cast Matt Bomer for Grey, as handsome as he is, his declared homosexuality is definitely never going to let him play the part.
    But yes he would’ve played the perfect Grey.
    Also i was kind of hoping the rumors about Stephen Amell were true, he’s a bad actor but could’ve done the job.
    Although, the novel was irritatingly bad i still want to see what soft porn comes out of it on screen.
    Also Jane Campion would’ve been the ideal choice as director and writer.
    Any good looking girl could’ve gone for female lead, Johnson is rather ugly and looks quite old to play the part.

  • Christophe

    “The quicker Affleck quits with all this silliness the sooner he can run for President of this grotesquely absurd country.”

    Dear Lord, Have Mercy! This world of ours has suffered enough already!



  • Kane

    When you say “his declared homosexuality is definitely never going to let him play the part…” are you saying he himself wouldn’t be able to do the scenes because he couldn’t (for lack of a better term) “get into the mood” with a girl? Last I checked Neil Patrick Harris was rocking the role of Barney, even though all his “conquests” are practically off screen.

  • Joey

    I think it’s because people don’t know to use Google. Almost every picture of Hunnam has him all scraggly because of his role on Sons of Anarchy. He’s HOT. People need to Google Charlie Hunnam clean shaven to bask in the majesty of how hot he really is.

    As for Anastasia Steele, Johnson has her work cut out for her, because that is the worst character ever written. Steele makes Bella Swan look like Madam Bovary.

    And I ONLY know about the characters because I do a weekly podcast where my best friend and I read the book aloud and make fun of it LOL It’s the true test of our friendship.

  • Kane

    If the producers change their minds over petitions this early before footage is shot, they are in the wrong business. Both films will make money regardless. If they allow thousands of signatures to change the face of a film then that’s the same as a reporter letting the person on the street to hold the microphone, you give them all the power. I have no interest in 50 Shades of Grey, I think the reason it got so popular over other erotica is BECAUSE of it spawning as Twilight fan fic and because it has a good title. it alludes mystery. Just because I don’t want to see it doesn’t think I don’t think it should be made. Like Sasha said, maybe, just maybe, the filmmakers know what they’re doing. In my mind, the casting of Charlie Hunnam (who appears to be a far cry from the character he will play) is such a unique move that maybe they have a trick up their sleeve or will give the character of Christian Grey a different take.

  • Radich

    All I know is that, when I read Ben Affleck is the new Batmam, I said “Really?”. Then two minutes later I forgot about it. I confess that I like him better as a director than an actor. But I’m starting to have fun witnessing this meltdown by the public.

    Haven’t read 50 Shades and don’t intend to. And was never interested in the movie version of it either. But if I have the chance to watch Hunnam naked on the screen, I will not say no to it. 🙂

    And sorry about the off topic, but since you’ve mentioned Blue is the Warmest Color, not sure if you guys read it, here is an interesting interview by the actresses.


  • brijazz

    I can’t wait to see the look on the housewives’ faces when they see what BDSM actually looks like, even with a mainstream gloss. Some things are better left in your imaginations, folks.

  • because it has a good title. it alludes mystery.

    It was an alright title until I found out this week that the dude’s name is Christian Grey. Then it became a cornball title.

    Guess we should be thankful his name isn’t Christian Brown. Because then… ewww…

  • Unlikely hood

    That’s a thin line. Legal precedent would define both actions under the same umbrella of “advocacy”. The petitioners would say they don’t mean to embarrass Ben Affleck; they just want a Batman closer to Bale. Your many rants about black casting and the fact that Viola Davis ain’t ever gonna see most of Streep’s scripts could be seen as very similar.

    For the record I agree with those rants. But I don’t think these petitioners are as different from you as you’d like them to be. Reality? Really? Et tu brute?

  • I managed to get through the first two paragraphs before exercising the Dorothy Parker dictum, “This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.” Therefor casting is of no consequence since I will just take names and send sympathy cards to all the attendees looking forward to the film.


  • Kane

    hahahahaha It would fit the theme of the novels! In a way I found the title good tongue-in-cheek, a decent play on a popular phrase. But yeah, the mystery was nearly gone when I found out his name too.

  • g

    Couldn’t bring myself to read the book, and I didn’t finish the trash when it was Master of the Universe on fan fiction. Yet I think the fans are kind of right, this story isn’t supposed to have 2 blondes as the stars!

  • Kane

    They also said a black guy couldn’t play Nick Fury…until Samuel L. Jackson came in and pimp smacked some hoes.

  • filmboymichael

    Groan – I think what a lot of these naysayers don’t realize is that most actors in hollywood that have worked hard to reach a certain level to their careers wouldn’t want to touch a book that was by and large porn. It could be careers suicide. I think Emma Watson’s tweet best summed it up.

    Also, people lack the imagination to realize that it’s really quite remarkable what a dye job and the right wardrobe can do to help define a character.

  • amy

    Never read 50 Shades. But Charlie Hunnan was so sweet in Nicholas Nickleby with Anne Hathaway. I always thought he must be a good actor since he admirably delivered some very sentimental dialogue. However, that role seems far removed from what I understand his 50 Shades character would be.

  • steve50

    +1 – Thanks for that!

  • I have calmed down about Ben as Batman, especially now that Superman/Batman will be filmed in Detroit. Signing a petition against him never crossed my mind, and I think such petitions are a waste of finger energy.

    I could give three shits about 50 Shades of Shit and its casting.

  • Fastidious respond in return of this difficulty with solid arguments and
    explaining the whole thing regarding that.

Check Also

Predictions Friday – Manchester and Moonlight Get a Boost

*Updated this to rework screenplay, as Moonlight is considered original. I also altered ad…