Dakota Johnson, Charlie Hunnam cast in 'Fifty Shades of Grey' movie

Dakota Johnson, left, and Charlie Hunnam, who will

Dakota Johnson, left, and Charlie Hunnam, who will play Anastasia and Christian Grey in the film adaptation of E L James' erotic novel, "Fifty Shades of Grey." (Credit: AP (2))

The stars have been cast for the film adaptation of the erotic best-seller "Fifty Shades of Grey."

Author E.L. James posted Universal Pictures' casting announcements on Twitter Monday before their general release, naming Dakota Johnson as college student Anastasia Steele and Charlie Hunnam as 27-year-old billionaire Christian Grey, with whom she has a sadomasochistic affair. Helmed by female director Sam Taylor-Johnson, the drama from Focus Features, Universal's specialty-films division, is scheduled for release Aug. 1, 2014.

"I am delighted to let you know that the lovely Dakota Johnson has agreed to be our Anastasia in the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey," James tweeted Monday, followed about an hour later with, "The gorgeous and talented Charlie Hunnam will be Christian Grey in the film adaptation of 'Fifty Shades of Grey.' "

She then responded to a wide range of fan comments on the casting, tweeting, "To all the supporters, lovers and haters -- thank you so much for the passion that you have for this project. You all rock. All of you," followed by a heart symbol.

Hunnam, 33, best known as cycle-gang scion Jax Teller on FX's "Sons of Anarchy," first gained attention as an ensemble star on Judd Apatow's cult-hit Fox sitcom "Undeclared." He went on to the title role of 2002's "Nicholas Nickleby" and has appeared in films including "Children of Men" (2006) and this year's "Pacific Rim," in which he starred.

Johnson, 23, is the daughter of actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith. After one role as a child, Dakota Johnson made her adult screen debut in "The Social Network" (2010). Her films include last year's "21 Jump Street" and "The Five-Year Engagement," and she starred as single mom Kate in the recent short-lived Fox sitcom "Ben & Kate." Johnson is currently filming the role of Imogen in an adaptation of Shakespeare's "Cymbeline," also starring Ed Harris and Ethan Hawke.

"Fifty Shades of Grey" has proved a global phenomenon, with its novel trilogy selling in the tens of millions worldwide in e-book and print.

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