If there’s been a recent surge of book club meetings amongst the female population, there’s arguably one very particular reason behind this: Fifty Shades of Grey. For those in the world who are living under a rock, Fifty Shades of Grey is the newest fictional sensation to top the best-seller lists in the U.S., the U.K., and around the world and has sold 10 million copies and counting. This isn’t for the faint of heart, however. It’s most notable for the erotic scenes and portrayal of BDSM (think bondage, blindfolds, and spankings.) Next time you’re out in public, take a look around and start keeping tally of the strangers you see reading Fifty Shades. Even better, start talking to them in the middle of reading it and see how uncomfortable they get.

As with any successful book series out there, Hollywood inevitably sunk its teeth right into this one (no pun intended.)  With Universal at the helm, it’s only a matter of time before Fifty Shades makes it to the big screen, and the cast in particular will play a huge part in the overall success or failure. Who will play the awkward and recently graduated protagonist, Anastasia Steele, and better yet, who will play the sickeningly beautiful billionaire boyfriend, Christian Grey? Names have been flying for as long as the book has been on the shelf, and while no one is attached to star yet, it shouldn’t be long before the studio starts making some decisions. Until then, here’s a list of some fan favorites as well as a few random picks that have somehow been overlooked.

Anastasia Steele:

Lucy Hale – Hale is mostly known for her role on the ABC Family show Pretty Little Liars, and the popularity of PLL has gained some solid support for her potential as Ana Steele. Hale herself has even mentioned that she would love to play the part and is intrigued with the book series. She might be a little too pretty for the “plain Jane” look that Ana is supposed to be, but Hollywood can work wonders with makeup.  I.E. Keira Knightley as the plain Lizzie Bennett in Pride and Prejudice. Overall: B-

 

 

Nina Dobrev – This has been a top fan choice from the beginning.  Dobrev has built up a strong support system from her time on The Vampire Diaries, and looks-wise, she could really work for Ana. Unfortunately, she hasn’t shown much interest whenever it’s brought up, so I wouldn’t hold out hope for her suddenly getting excited about it. Also, the personality traits might be too similar to her character on TVD (minus the whole kinky sex part.) I’m sure she doesn’t want to fall into that trap. Overall: C


 

 

Elizabeth Olsen – I completely understand fans wanting Olsen for the role. I will be the first one to jump on any bandwagon for her. She’s new to the scene, but she’s proving herself to be very capable. That being said, I doubt she would consider the role even if it was offered. She’s already getting enough roles that she doesn’t need Fifty Shades to kick start a big career, and if she did take on the part, she might lose some of her critical acclaim. Sorry fans, but this one is really wishful thinking.  Overall: C-


 

 

Danielle Panabaker – There hasn’t been much mention of Panabaker yet, but once her name gets out there, I think people will be pleasantly surprised. When it comes to her overall look, she’s exactly the way Ana is described, and I think she could nail the awkward yet charming personality. Even though she’s been acting for a decade, she’s still relatively unknown enough that Fifty Shades could help her career and not hinder it. Whether or not she’s comfortable with the content is another matter entirely.  Overall: A

 

 

Lyndsy Fonseca – Fonseca is all over the internet, whether it’s fans rallying her for Ana in Fifty Shades or for Joanna in The Hunger Games. She’s become pretty popular since her role as the girlfriend in Kick-Ass, and her popularity is evident. She can play up the adorable angle, but she’s also got just the right amount of sass that she wouldn’t lose any on-screen presence to her Christian Grey. She might be a little bit too pretty, but again, with Hollywood makeup, this is less of an issue. Overall: B+


 

 

Rooney Mara – Could Mara play this role flawlessly? Most likely, yes. Does that mean she’s right for the role? I’m going with a no on this one. She’s a great actress, and she’s definitely got the look. The problem is that it’s not likely she’d ever agree to it even if it was offered. Much like Elizabeth Olsen, she’s already proved herself with the critics, and something tells me this would be a step backwards for her. I’m definitely not putting much weight into this. Overall: C-

 

 

Miley Cyrus – I’m not embarrassed to admit that I actually do love Miley Cyrus and used to sit in my college dorm room watching Hannah Montana marathons…  but unfortunately for her, that’s the problem. It’s almost a guarantee that if people are watching her have a steamy scene on screen, they’d only think about the fact that Hannah Montana is having sex. She’s definitely got the look and ability, but if she wants more serious roles, this probably isn’t the best place to start. Overall: C+

 

 

Emilia Clarke – Thanks to Game of Thrones, we already know that Clarke has no qualms with baring her lady parts, and that’s exactly what Fifty Shades will call for. With her natural brown her and overall stature, she’s actually spot on with her looks. She’d definitely be believable as the awkwardly shy college graduate that’s in over her head. She’s becoming really popular in the fandom, and it’s well deserved. If she can handle an American accent, she’s got my vote. Overall: A

 

 

Felicity Jones – This might be the first time that I think someone is a little bit too adorable. Yes, Ana is supposed to be adorable, but throughout the series, she gets stronger and feistier. Jones doesn’t strike me as the feisty type. Even when she showed some sass in Like Crazy, it wasn’t enough to convince me that she can handle someone like Christian Grey without being overshadowed. I do like her as an actress, though, so my mind could be swayed if she ever showed any interest in the part. Overall: C

 

 

Crystal Reed – This is my pick out of left field. Up until about a month ago, I had never even heard of Crystal Reed, but I’ve recently become impressed with her. She’s most notably known for her role in MTV’s Teen Wolf, but she must still be working on building a fan base if people aren’t rallying her for Ana yet. She’s got the look, and I think she’s got the acting chops too. Plus, this would be a great boost to her career if she wants to venture outside of television acting. Overall: A

 

 

 

Christian Grey:

Ian Somerhalder – Somerhalder’s been very vocal about his interest in the role, and even his girlfriend (Anastasia Steele contender, Nina Dobrev) has spoken on his behalf. Maybe that’s part of the reason she’s not interested in the project. Regardless, Somerhalder has the right amount of charm, and he’s got the whole tall, dark, handsome thing going for him. He’s great, but he’s not perfect. Christian is supposed to look like a Greek God. Somerhalder looks like a vampire. Overall: B

 

 

Matt Bomer – I hopped on the Matt Bomer train when USA’s White Collar first came out, and I have yet to regret it. The few films he’s appeared in since then have confirmed that he’s capable and lovable. The only problem with him is just how lovable all of his roles have been. It’s hard to believe that he could play such a dark character. Let’s face it, Christian can be downright scary. I don’t get that vibe from Bomer, but when it comes to his physical appearance, he is Christian Grey. There’s potential here. Overall: B

 

 

Ryan Gosling – I’d like to stand on the nearest roof and scream “NO” at the top of my lungs when it comes to Gosling playing Christian. Don’t get me wrong, he is one of the best actors of our generation, and there’s no doubt that he could play the part. This is more for his sake. He is already successful in his career, and playing a role in Fifty Shades would only bring him down. He won’t touch this movie with a ten foot pole, and I’d be disappointed if he did. Stick with the Oscar contenders, Gosling. Overall: D-

 

 

Henry Cavill – Cavill definitely has the rap sheet to play Christian, but would he really want to go from Superman to super dominant sex addict? It might not go over well with marketing and publicity for the Superman franchise. Pushing that aside, he’s got the look for Christian. We also know he’s not afraid to get involved with some raunchy scenes because of his work on The Tudors. He’d be great for the role, but there’s almost no chance that he’d make that jump after his recent string of movies. Overall: B-

 

 

Bradley Cooper – After taking on the leading man status in Limitless, Cooper proved he could hold his own outside of a sidekick character in a big movie. He’s great, and with a little hair dye, he could have the look of Christian. Unfortunately, he’s just too old to play a man in his twenties. Some older actors might be able to pull it off, but he looks his age, which doesn’t match up with the story. While he’s definitely a good actor, this role just isn’t right for him. Overall: C-

 

 

Jared Padalecki – Padalecki is still riding the waves of popularity from the CW show Supernatural. There’s no doubt he would be great for the role. He’s already proved that he can play darker characters, and he’s just as handsome as he is talented. Fifty Shades could be good for his career, but I can’t see him taking the role even if it was offered. I’m not sure a family man such as himself would want to be involved with such a heavy project. We can still cross our fingers, though. Overall: B


 

 

Chris Hemsworth – Hemsworth must be floating on cloud nine with all of his recent success, and it only makes sense that his name is circling Fifty Shades. He’s got the looks, and he can pull off the attitude. The problem is that he doesn’t want the role. If he doesn’t want it, then it doesn’t matter how many fans are lining up in support. Not to mention, this would be the quickest way to send him crashing down from his cloud and back to unemployment. Stick to your guns, Hemsworth. Don’t do it. Overall: D

 

 

Michael Fassbender – He’s a fan favorite for a reason. He’s got everything that Christian has, and he went above and beyond proving that he’s okay with nudity in movies. If you’ve seen Shame, you know what I’m talking about. There are two main problems with this casting choice. One is that he might be a little too old for the role. Two is that his reputation is already great. If anything, it would hinder his future projects. Fassbender will most likely stay away. Such a shame. Overall: C

 

 

Alex Pettyfer – Pettyfer has some really loyal fans that throw his name into practically every project that’s being produced in Hollywood. Some of them make sense. Unfortunately, this one does not. He’s too young to play Christian, and they’d have to cast someone even younger to play Ana. That would be getting dangerously young. No one wants to see a girl in her teens taking on such a steamy role. So let’s stick with the older players and let Pettyfer find another franchise to take over. Overall: D

 

 

Tyler Hoechlin – It’s settled. There’s a new favorite on my list, and if Hoechlin’s name doesn’t start seriously circling this project, there’s something wrong. He embodies Christian Grey to the point that it’s almost scary. Not to mention, he’s still mostly unknown in the industry, and this could be a big break for him, much like Twilight was for Robert Pattinson. Whether or not he wants that kind of attention is still up in the air. Overall: A+

 

 

Who do YOU think should play Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey? Sound off in the comments.