The ruthless fight for who will clinch the coveted role of Christian Grey in the upcoming film adaptation of E.L. James’ controversial novel Fifty Shades of Grey is getting hotter, as the summer’s endless speculation over the cast is intensifying with the list of potential candidates shortening -- and making quiet and subtle moves to confirm their interest in the role of the S&M business tycoon.
And though Gangster Squad’s Ryan Gosling has been a long favored to audition for the complex role, others such as Man of Steel’s Henry Cavill and True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgard are stepping up in preference -- channeling Christian Grey through advertising campaigns with the unequivocal "Fifty Shades look" that is permeating pop culture, from fashion to music and beyond.
First, it was Cavill who stunned the blogosphere with the revelation that the fictional character of Christian Grey was actually inspired in the English actor, better known in America for Showtime’s series The Tudors. A 2008 cologne commercial further exacerbated the claims as it features a Christian Grey-esque Cavill about to board a helicopter emblazoned with a “G” – in what mirrors one of Fifty Shades of Grey's most emblematic scenes.
And now, Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgard, known for playing Viking Age vampire Eric Northman is HBO’s True Blood, seems to also be throwing his hat on the ring to audition for the coveted role. According to Hollywood Reporter, Skarsgard is the new image of Calvin Klein’s cologne Encounter -- as featured in a commercial that borrows from Eric Northman’s vampiric seduction (minus the fangs) in a Fifty Shades of Grey-inspired setting. Here’s the ad:
The spot seems to consolidate a trend in which frontrunners for the cast seem to be channeling the enigmatic fictional character through brief attempts at impersonating the CEO of Grey Enterprises in "Fifty Shades-like settings."
However, unlike Skarsgard – whose commercial was produced in the aftermath of the Fifty Shades fever, Cavill’s Christian Grey “audition” has the merit of preceding the book and film's popular success. Whether the upcoming screenwriter and director see it that way, it remains to be seen.