Ryan Gosling to star in ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’?

Actor is frontrunner to play Christian Grey, says the husband of author EL James

Ryan Gosling is being lined up to star in Fifty Shades Of Grey, according to the author’s husband.

Niall Leonard, partner of novelist EL James, told Now! that the “last he heard”, Gosling was frontrunner for the title role.

The screen rights to Fifty Shades Of Grey – which traces the sexual relationship between businessman Christian Grey and college graduate Anastacia Steele – were acquired by Universal Pictures and Focus Features in March (2012). However, the film still has no screenwriter, director or confirmed stars.

Casting is a particularly hot topic and EL James, a former TV executive who lives in West London, is said to be heavily involved. Earlier this week (September 5), an American porn actor called James Deen was reported to be on the shortlist to play Grey, while Harry Potter star Emma Watson has been mooted as a potential Steele.

Other actors linked to the Grey role include Channing Tatum, Lost‘s Ian Somerhalder and Alexander Skarsgård from True Blood. The Descendants actress Shailene Woodley and American teen star Ashley Benson are said to be contention to play Steele.

Ryan Gosling, 31, has been prolific in recent years, starring in high-profile films such as Blue Valentine, Drive and The Ides Of March. Last week (August 30), it was announced that he will make his debut as a director next year (2013) with a film called How To Catch A Monster.

Since being published last year (2011), Fifty Shades Of Grey has become notorious for its explicit sexual content and controversial portrayal of a relationship involving BDSM. The novel has now sold more than 5.5 million copies to British readers, making it the UK’s biggest-selling book of all time.