Maybe The Best Man To Play Christian Grey Is Porn Star James Deen

James Deen Christian Grey Fifty Shades of Grey casting rumors Bret Easton Ellis porn starWe should take any Fifty Shades of Grey movie news from Bret Easton Ellis with a grain of salt, because as dedicated as the novelist seems to be to the project, let’s not forget that he was passed over to actually write the screenplay. So you have to wonder where his supposed insider information is coming from.

That said, over the weekend, he tweeted that not only will the Fifty Shades movie be a big-budget production, but the producers are pondering the unusual route of casting porn up-and-comer James Deen in the title role:

Just got inside information that James Deen is actually in the running to play Christian in “Fifty Shades of Grey” with E.L. James support.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” will be budgeted at 12-15 million and James Deen is on the list of actors to play Christian Grey according to source.

Fifty Shades of Grey movie will DEFINITELY be written by a woman and the budget will be below 15 million. Ana will be played by an unknown.

Reactions to this latest casting rumor are rather mixed. It doesn’t help matters that when the first composite image of Christian Grey came out, James’ fans posted a side-by-side comparison of the sketch and a twitpic of him. At the time James demurred, saying he imagined they’d still go with a movie star, but thanked fans for their support. Even with these recent tweets, he’s stayed pretty noncommittal, retweeting articles like this but not necessarily saying he’s dying for the role.

However, negative backlash from a contingent of Fifty Shades fans who hate the idea of James-as-Christian prompted James to write a blog post (site NSFW) admitting that these criticisms and attacks are actually getting to him. He’s careful never to directly blame the fans, but it’s clear that he’s upset about getting all this abuse when he hasn’t even said he wants the role:

here is more and more internet rumors about me and that movie and for every person that agrees with stoya about how that christian grey dude is based on my kink.com and other porn scenes, there is one other very loud and rude person who things porn is evil and i shouldn’t be in the movie.  the mean people are more vocal too.  i keep trying to tell myself that haters are going to hate and it is actually a good thing that i am at least at a level where people will make fun of me.  that is a good thing right? [...]

but again, i am not talking shit.  it isn’t like these anti porn fifty shades of grey fans are saying “i want to staple james deen’s balls to a wall and watch him do handstands”.  that kind of statement wouldn’t bother me at all.  maybe i am just having an emotional couple of days.

There’s nothing wrong with simply pondering the idea, especially because this is kind of new ground for a Hollywood adaptation. There’s the novel’s shady past as fanfiction, the dilemma of whether to play it straight or just embrace all of the absurd characterizations/plot twists, and of course the question of how graphic they want to make the sex. If the producers are gunning for an R (or higher!) à la Shame, then it could be in their best interests to have a professional helping to direct scenes. Especially since, as James mentioned above, Stoya and other adult film stars seem to believe that some of James’ BDSM scenes may have inspired E.L. James.

TheGloss thinks it’s not a good fit—not judging by James’ bedroom skills, they say, but because his persona is too boyish and adorable to play this domineering man. I haven’t seen much of his work, but I get the impression from his blog posts I cycled through while writing this that he could turn on that weird, brutal mix of charm and roughness where needed.

James Deen Christian Grey Fifty Shades of Grey casting rumors Bret Easton Ellis porn star

Look how he’s channeling “Fifty” in this twitpic. It could be like when Sasha Grey played a Manhattan callgirl in The Girlfriend Experience; though the movie wasn’t well-received, director Steven Soderbergh seemed to believe that he couldn’t do anything less than authentic to match the character’s experiences and motivations.

However, the final word (for now) comes from E.L. James herself, who tweeted this last night:

ALL CASTING NEWS NOT TRUE. ALL ARE RUMOURS AT THE MOMENT. YES, SHOUTY CAPITALS. GRRR….

Sounds like someone’s got a twitchy palm.

Photos: @jamesdeen

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    • N-

      No maybe here. Why recycle the vampire actors?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1041690054 Natalie Zutter

        What do you mean–are you saying just use Robert Pattinson or Kristen Stewart? The closest James Deen has been to vampires is when he played Bill in the True Blood porn parody, but that’s it.

      • N-

        A criticism of 50 Shades is that it is post-Twilight fan fiction which is what it will be if one of the vampire actors is selected for the role of C.G. What I’m saying is there is “No Maybe” – James Deen IS the best man to play C.G. Most of Deen’s work is harsher than what is described in the books, but knowing what is just below the surface would amplify to the tension and give it an unpredictable edge. And it would be great to see Deen in a softer, romantic role with vulnerability. i can’t think of any other actor that would bring this to the story.