The search for Charlie Hunnam's replacement appears to be over!
Once that contract is signed, the handsome Hollywood hunk will get kinky alongside Dakota Johnson, who's onboard to play Anastasia Steele in the adaptation of E.L. James' erotica novel, which is slated to begin shooting in the beginning of November.
A rep for Dornan has not yet returned a request for comment. Variety was first to report that the 31-year-old actor was The One.
E! News first reported that the Once Upon a Time star was in the lead for the role last week, after a source told us exclusively that, "He had a really good read today."
The source explained that the studio is focusing more attention on getting the part filled and not as worried about how the actor will do opposite Johnson. "The studio isn't worried about Dakota," the source added. "They think she could handle whoever the guy is."
The rumor mill with potential replacements has been running wild since Hunnam's shocking departure from the project, with the list including (to name a few) fan favorites Matt Bomer and Ian Somerhalder, François Arnaud, Billy Magnussen, Luke Bracey, Christian Cooke and Scott Eastwood.
Michael De Luca, one of the hotly anticipated film's producers, couldn't comment on whether Dornan was their man while talking to E! News exclusively on the red carpet at the 2013 Hollywood Film Awards on Monday, but did note that they were going to cast Christian in the very near future.
"We're looking on your website, we're looking under rocks in Zimbabwe, in space, on the moon. We're looking everywhere, but I think in a couple weeks it will be announced and everything will be cool," and added, "We're on track. The release date [Aug. 1, 2014] is preserved and we're gonna kind of keep going."
James hasn't yet tweeted her thoughts, but Kate Mara is super-excited about the idea.
"Congrats to the sweetest person/scariest actor I know, @JamieDornan1 !!!! #50ShadesOfGrey just got real. So fu$!in psyched. #blameIreland," she tweeted tonight.
Are you excited about the news? Sound off in the comments!
(E! and Universal Pictures are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)