Isn't it too late for another casting shake-up?
Jamie Dornan replaced Charlie Hunnam as Christian Grey before production on Fifty Shades of Grey even began, and now, star Dakota Johnson has been replaced—by none other than Ellen DeGeneres!
OK, not really. But as anticipation builds for the sexy movie's Feb. 13, 2015 release date, the talk show host decided to spoof the film's trailer by subbing herself in for Johnson as protagonist Anastasia Steele. "Over the years, I've shown a lot of scenes from different movies that I've been cut out of," DeGeneres told her studio audience. "What happens is I get cast and show up and I work like a professional. I learn my lines and I really prepare the scenes, and for some stupid reason, the part gets cut—until now. The Fifty Shades of Grey movie is coming out net year and I am so happy and proud to say I got the lead role, and I am definitely going to be the lead in the movie." The comedienne added, "They're acting like it's Dakota Johnson. It's not. It's me. Because no one know knows their way around a whip more than me."
"It's some of my best work," DeGeneres added before introducing the trailer.
When Anastasia first meets Christian in his oversized office, he tells her, "I like to see your face. It gives me some clue what you might be thinking." The innocent Washington State University senior is a bit taken aback and asks, "What I'm thinking?" After some thought, she says, "Well, I was just thinking about how fun it is to get pears around Christmastime and how each one of 'em is individually wrapped in foil and how beautiful they are, like a little present. Can you imagine if all fruit was like that? I mean, cherries or blueberries or raspberries? Each one of 'em you'd have to unwrap, but it would be a present.
"That's what I was thinking," Anastasia says.
Later, as Christian plays the piano, Anastasia covers her nude body with a blanket and bursts into song. Needless to say, you won't see Johnson singing Hall & Oates' "Maneater" in Focus Features' final cut of the film.
Christian tells Anastasia that his "tastes are very singular," and she replies, "This is so Pretty Woman!" What she doesn't realize, however, is that he's led her to the red room of pain. "Oh, hell no!" she says.
Perhaps it's a good thing Johnson won the role after all.
After debuting the trailer, DeGeneres said, "I promise you are not gonna recast."
(E! and Focus Features are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)