The 28-year-old actor rejected the offer for a reason other than the controversial subject matter (the male lead is S&M-obsessed in E.L. James‘ erotic novel). “Doing a possible trilogy was too big a commitment, and producers wouldn’t let him do just one film,” a source told Us Weekly.
One actor who has been actively campaigning for the role is also out of the running, but this time it’s on account of the author behind the story. “The Vampire Diaries” star Ian Somerhalder recently told Ryan Seacrest in an interview on KISS-FM that he would “absolutely” be up for taking the role should it be offered to him. “It could be very, very amazing,” Somerhalder said. “I have the book and I just started reading it. That would be a pretty incredible thing, and hopefully that could pan out. Beyond the shadow of a doubt, I think that would be a phenomenal opportunity!”
Unfortunately, James doesn’t see that happening for Somerhalder. “E.L. was at a Comic-Con party July 20 telling people the part won’t go to Ian,” a source told Us Weekly. Sorry, Somerhalder; it’s a good thing you’ve still got the uber-successful series “TVD” to rely on.