Jamie Dornan, British Actor and Model, Is Favorite for Christian Grey: Report

10/16/2013 at 02:30 PM EDT

Jamie Dornan, British Actor and Model, Is Favorite for Christian Grey: Report
Jamie Dornan
Ken McKay/REX USA
Is this the new shade of Grey?

Following the news that Charlie Hunnam, 33, backed out of playing Christian Grey in the highly anticipated film adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey, Universal Pictures and Focus Features apparently have their eyes set primarily on British TV star Jamie Dornan, 31, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The report says that fellow British actor Christian Cooke, 26, and Alexander Skarsgard, 37, of True Blood fame, are also in the running for the coveted erotic role.

Dornan, a former Calvin Klein model, dated Keira Knightley and currently stars in British series The Fall. The only problem is his wife Amelia Warner is pregnant, which could complicate matters.



Aiming to start filming on Nov. 1, the studio is apparently reeling over Hunnam's departure from the project, in which the actor had sought some creative control.

A source has told PEOPLE that Hunnam didn't end up wanting the Robert Pattinson-esque fame that would accompany the role.

Despite the change-up, the studio reportedly stands by its Aug. 1, 2014 release date with Dakota Johnson, 24, in the role of Anastasia Steele.



Let's start off the movie award season! Watch PEOPLE.com's exclusive live-streaming show with interviews from the red carpet of the Hollywood Film Awards on Monday, Oct. 21, starting at 9 p.m. ET.

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