“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,” she wrote. Moments later, James revealed that Sons of Anarchy actor Charlie Hunnam would play Christian Grey in the film.
The pic will be released by Focus Features on Aug. 1, 2014, in North America.
The announcement marks the first major casting for the highly anticipated project, which is being directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and produced by Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti alongside author James. Kelly Marcel wrote the screenplay.
Johnson, the daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, previously worked with producers De Luca and Brunetti on The Social Network. She has also been featured in 21 Jump Street, The Five-Year Engagement and the upcoming Need for Speed. Last fall, Johnson starred in the freshman Fox series Ben & Kate.
Fifty Shades of Grey follows college student Steele as she begins a racy relationship with 27-year-old billionaire Christian Grey.