Rumors of Jamie Dornan’s imminent departure from the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise have been very, very naughty.
Contrary to breathless reports that the erstwhile Christian Grey is walking away from the sequels after this month’s monster box office hit, Dornan’s reps say he’s still onboard for the next cinematic chapter in E.L. James’s erotic fiction franchise.
“Jamie is delighted that the film is breaking box office records worldwide and whilst the studio has not made any formal announcements about sequels, he is looking forward to making the next film,” his agents told The Daily Beast on Wednesday.
Another source close to the films tells me there’s “no truth” to the speculation, which spread when Australian magazine NW reported that Dornan was quitting the most lucrative gig of his career because wife Amelia Warner was loath to watch her husband getting kinky onscreen with co-star Dakota Johnson.
Being rammed by critics probably didn’t help, either, as the Fifty Shades circus came to a cacophonous climax this month in an onslaught of negative reviews, outraged think pieces, and derision from all corners of the media. While Johnson drew faint praise for breathing life into her submissive slip of a heroine, Dornan suffered in comparison for his stiff turn as Fifty Shades’ BDSM-loving billionaire.
As if simulating sex on camera with “dozens of hairy men standing around” wasn’t tough enough, try keeping a brave face as the face of the world’s biggest, goofiest softcore fantasy while your serious, career-validating, BAFTA-nominated work on The Fall takes a backseat. (Dornan really is excellent and far more dangerously sexy than Christian Grey on the BBC crime drama set in his native Northern Ireland.)
The Fifty Shades mantle comes with a level of scrutiny that would give anyone pause. Flashier names among Hollywood’s hunkiest ranks reportedly said “no thanks,” from Ryan Gosling to Garrett Hedlund, and even reigning Sons of Anarchy badass Charlie Hunnam bailed after being cast.
“I was going to finish playing a psychopath who’d just lost his wife, and five days later I’d be on set playing Christian Grey,” Hunnam told People last November after exiting the film a month after landing the job. “I was like, ‘This is going to be a fucking disaster.’”
For now, the batshit future of Fifty Shades still belongs to Mr. Dornan.