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Who is Christian Grey? Christian Grey is the fictional male protagonist of Fifty Shades of Grey, the wildly popular erotic novel that, having topped best-seller lists around the world, is soon to become a feature film. Fifty Shades of Grey is the first part of a trilogy, and all three of author E. L. James’ books center on Christian Grey, a wealthy, handsome businessman with a taste for bondage/discipline and sadomasochism (BDSM). Grey meets and falls for young college graduate Anastasia Steele and soon pulls her into his kinky world of “dominants” and “submissives.”

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Fifty Shades of Grey started out as Twilight fan fiction, or fanfic, and James has said that Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele are patterned after characters created by the author of that series, Stephenie Meyer. Ever since news broke of a Fifty Shades of Grey movie, fans have speculated about who might play Christian Grey on the big screen. According to PolicyMic.com, Ryan Gosling is the frontrunner, though Robert Pattinson, Matt Bomer, and Ian Somerhalder are also rumored to be in contention. Whoever gets the role may appear opposite Emma Watson, Kristen Stewart, or even Angelina Jolie—all of whom are thought to be possible choices for Anastasia.

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Christian Grey is described in the book as “fifty shades of f—ed up,” and while he’s portrayed as a gentleman, he has a troubled past that should give some lucky actor plenty to sink his teeth into. In the book, Grey makes Steele sign a contract that says he’s allowed to “flog, spank, whip or corporally punish the Submissive as he sees fit, for purposes of discipline, for his own personal enjoyment or for any other reason, which he is not obliged to provide.” It’s racy stuff—and regardless of who plays Grey on the silver screen, Fifty Shades of Grey is bound to make fifty tons of green at the box office.

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