Porn star James Deen is on the shortlist to play Christian Grey, says Bret Easton Ellis

American porn actor James Deen is on the shortlist to play the lead in the Fifty Shades Of Grey movie.

Bret Easton Ellis has claimed that Deen is being eyed to play Christian Grey, the fictional heart-throb from the erotic novel by EL James that is now the UK’s biggest-selling book of all time. The screen rights were acquired by Universal Pictures and Focus Features in March (2012), but the movie still has no screenwriter, director or confirmed stars.

Ellis, author of American Psycho and Less Than Zero, had expressed a keen interest in adapting the novel for the big screen. However, he announced last month (August) that his name had been scrubbed from the list of potential screenwriters.

Despite being out of the running, Ellis continues to discuss the film on Twitter and claims to retain links to the production. On Saturday (September 1), he posted the following tweet:

Deen, 26, has appeared in around 1,300 porn films including Meet The Fuckers 9, Need For Seed 2 and Sweet Bone Alabama. He is currently shooting a mainstream Hollywood movie called The Canyons, which has a script written by Bret Easton Ellis.

In subsequent tweets, Ellis claimed that Anastasia Steele, the novel’s heroine, will be played on screen by an “unknown” actress. He also insisted that the film’s script will “definitely be written by a woman” and predicted that the production budget will be “below $15 million” (£9.5 million).