When E.L. James announced that her "mummy-porn" smash hit "Fifty Shades of Grey" was heading for the big screen, fans everywhere began guessing who might be cast as Christian Grey. But living up to the kinky fantasies of thousands of women is no easy task, especially, as it turns out, for Charlie Hunnam, the man originally picked for the plum role. Hunnam later dropped out of the project, but many fans were so incensed at the appointment of this scruffy "Sons of Anarchy" star, that they took to social media to express their outrage, and even signed petitions (yes, petitions!) protesting the casting decision. Now that Hunnam's out of the running, who else might fit the bill? Here are five hot candidates we'd like to see on the silver screen.

Matt Bomer



Flickr/rtppt

Fifty Shades of Grey the Official Pleasure Collection at LovehoneyAs of September 6th, more than 50,000 "Bomerettes" had signed a petition begging the "Fifty Shades" crew to recast Matt Bomer of "White Collar" as Christian Grey. Those adding their signature to the Change.org petition argue that Bomer perfectly matches the physical description of E.L. James' anti-hero - and that he’s got the acting chops to back up those good looks.

Bomer admitted to Access Hollywood that he hadn’t read the erotic trilogy, but was impressed by the fervor of its fans.

"It sounds amazing, and from what I hear, people are really into the story, so I gotta check it out," he said.

Despite such strong support, some suggest Bomer’s sexuality may have put him out of the running. Would audiences have accepted a gay man playing such a sexually voracious straight character? I guess we’ll never know!

Ian Somerhalder



Flickr/emz_m

With his dark hair and twinkling blue eyes, Ian Somerhalder also seems like the physical embodiment of Christian Grey. No wonder admirers of the "Vampire Diaries" star have flooded Twitter claiming he was also robbed of the part.

Fifty Shades of Grey the Official Pleasure Collection at Lovehoney It seems Somerhalder was as excited at the prospect of playing Grey as his supporters were. He was vocal about wanting the role, announcing on Ryan Seacrest’s radio program "I absolutely would be up for that. It could be amazing. It could be very, very amazing. I have the book and I just started reading it."

After he read the book, Somerhalder was so keen to share it that he auctioned his copy to raise funds for his charity, the Ian Somerhalder Foundation. Where did it all go wrong for this "Fifty Shades" fan?

Robert Pattinson



Flickr/Gage Skidmore

According to novelist Bret Easton Ellis, a good personal friend of E.L. James, Robert Pattison was the author’s first choice. Remember that James was thinking of Robert as she wrote "Fifty Shades," which began its life as "Twilight" fan fiction. So it makes a lot of sense that the man James is reportedly "obsessed with" should star in her novel's silver screen adaptation.

Pattinson certainly seems to be closer to Christian Grey’s physical likeness than Hunnam, and his starring role in "Twilight" proved he knows how to play tortured with the best of them. He’s also shown he doesn’t want to be just a teen heartthrob with recent roles in more adult fare including "Bel Ami" and "Cosmopolis." Becoming Christian Grey may have helped cement Pattinson’s reputation as a grown-up leading man ... or just scandalized the parents of all his young "Twilight" fans.

Michael Fassbender



Flickr/Therese Stromberg

After his Golden Globe-nominated performance playing a sex-addicted businessman in "Shame," Michael Fassbender should have been a shoo-in for the role of Christian Grey. Early rumors suggested he was one of the frontrunners to join the cast. Sadly, it wasn’t to be.

It’s disappointing because few other actors have shown themselves to be so comfortable with kinky sex and their bodies. Then again, when your naked physique has been praised by the likes of George Clooney and Charlize Theron, perhaps it’s easy to feel confident! Check out Fassbender's steamy leather-clad W Magazine feature for a taste of what might have been.

Ryan Gosling



Flickr/Peter Morawski

Critics might have slammed Hunnam’s blond hair, but something tells us they’d be more receptive if another blond was hired. After all, Ryan Gosling was recently named the actor most film fans would like to see in a saucy sex tape. A role in "Fifty Shades of Grey" might have been the next best thing!

Ryan Gosling is regularly named one of the world’s most attractive men, but he’s proved he’s more than just a pretty face with roles in edgy flicks like "Drive" and "Only God Forgives." He’s something of a chameleon, able to embody any character. We just wish he was taking on Christian Grey!

Until Then ...

Who will play Christian Grey? Only time will tell. Until then, you'll only have your fantasies to keep you warm at night.