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'Fifty Shades of Grey' Casting: Luke Bracey at 'Top of the List' to Replace Char

6/12/2014 USMagazine
© Rob Latour/Rex USA

"Fifty Shades of Grey" is turning into "Fifty Rounds of Casting Rumors." With the sudden departure of Charlie Hunnam -- who won the role of Christian Grey in early September but dropped out late last week -- producers are looking at several different actors to star in the much-anticipated movie adaptation of E.L. James' erotic book. And a source tells Us Weekly they've zeroed in on one actor in particular: Australian hunk Luke Bracey.

Bracey, 24, is said to be one of the current frontrunners to replace Hunnam, 33. "Luke is at the top of the list," the insider tells Us, noting that more chemistry testing is planned with female lead Dakota Johnson.

Bracey is perhaps best known for playing Trey Palmer on the Australian soap "Home and Away." He also appeared as Leighton Meester's love interest in the 2011 romantic comedy "Monte Carlo" -- where he grew close with co-star Selena Gomez. Earlier this year, after the "Spring Breakers" actress split from Justin Bieber, the two were spotted holding hands at a Golden Globes after-party.

Other actors rumored to be in the running for "Fifty Shades" include Jamie Dornan and Alexander Skarsgard. Dornan, 31, plays Paul Spector in the U.K. series "The Fall" and previously appeared as Sheriff Graham/The Huntsman on ABC's "Once Upon a Time." Skarsgard, of course, stars as Eric Northman on HBO's "True Blood."

As previously reported, Hunnam dropped out of the film on Oct. 12, citing his busy "Sons of Anarchy" schedule as the reason for his departure. "The filmmakers of 'Fifty Shades of Grey' and Charlie Hunnam have agreed to find another male lead given Hunnam's immersive TV schedule which is not allowing him time to adequately prepare for the role of Christian Grey," Universal Pictures and Focus Features said in a joint statement.

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