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Kate Moss, awaiting that all-important call from the studios (Yahoo)

The production of the 50 Shades of Grey film was always going to dogged by gossip and conjecture. Given the huge popularity of the book, and its racy subject matter, how could anyone resist taking five enjoyable minutes to imagine their favorite suave and sophisticated actor man in the lead role of Christian Grey? And then blogging about it, and tweeting about the blog, and Facebooking the tweet, and arguing in the Facebook comments with fellow bloggers.

So you do have to feel a twinge of sympathy for any actor willing to put their head on the block and actually sign up to play the role, making an announcement that will effectively shatter millions of fruity dreams and bring the wrath of S&M fiction fans down upon your head. I mean, those people probably own whips! And chains!

Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam was that guy, having signed up for three adaptations of EL James’s novels, and then, having taken the full wrath of the internet’s scorn, he suddenly quit.

So, it’s back to the fantasies again. Who should get the part? Well how about one of this lot?

50 Cent
He’s rich, well-toned, has a propensity to be a little callous with the ladies (key lyrical quote: “I’m into having sex, I ain’t into making love”), and his name lends itself well to the ad campaign. You can see the trailers now: a dark, gravelly voice intones “50 + 50 = ” amid booms and sudden fades, and then there’s a sexy montage in which he looks good in a suit. 

Neil Patrick Harris
As with Fiddy, Neil’s appeal is that he can rock a suit and has form when it comes to playing characters being a little resistant to the full gushy swoop of romance. He’d be great at giving the orders, whatever they may be, and is blessed with a devilish smile, even if he does not possess the required breadth of manly chest.

Seth Macfarlane
But he’d have to do it all in the Stewie Griffin voice. And not smile. Or make crude jokes. Or be Seth Macfarlane.

Pam Ferris
We’ve all seen Matilda, there is no doubting Pam’s ability to play the strict disciplinarian. I just get the sense that in 50 Shades, being strict has different connotations. I’m sure there are people who find the idea of entering into erotic play with Miss Trunchbull a turn-on, but it’s a really niche market.

A definite near-miss, this one. Threepio (as Luke Skywalker so chummily calls him) is a stickler for manners and protocol, and appears to be dressed as a golden gimp, so he probably has form in the S&M world. He would, however, not look suave in a suit and tie, nor is he particularly adept at dishing out the orders.

Who else should definitely not play Christian Grey? Tell us here:

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By Fraser McAlpine