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This week's cover: 'Sons of Anarchy' takes its final ride

Sons of Anarchy fans still reeling from the Sept. 30 episode (read our recap) may want to take a beta blocker before reading this week’s cover story, which goes on the set and behind the scenes as the cast and the creator, Kurt Sutter, prepare for an epic ending.

The seventh and final season of FX’s highest-rated show finds Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) leading his motorcycle club, SAMCRO, on a mission to avenge the death of his wife Tara (Maggie Siff). What Jax doesn’t know is that his scheming mother, Gemma (Katey Sagal), is the real killer. In a preseason poll on EW.com, 81 percent of readers assumed that Gemma has to die for her crimes—and that was before her cover-up of Tara’s murder by carving fork ignited a street war with a devastating body count. “I kind of agree with them,” Sagal admits. “That seems like a correct assumption. I mean, it’s pretty heinous where she is now. Even though she didn’t mean it.”

Fans also assume Jax will eventually learn the truth. But what will he do? “Anyone else in the world, 100 percent guaranteed he’s gonna murder them in slow and brutal fashion, but it’s his mother, you know. It’s gonna be complicated,” says Hunnam. “I don’t envy Kurt in trying to figure out the right way to approach that.” Sutter already knows how the story will unfold—not that he’s willing to spoil it. “The question is, does Jax ever get the whole truth? Is he supposed to get the whole truth? If he only gets part of the truth, what does that mean? We’ll play with all that stuff,” he says cagily. “I think once he gets information, as much of it as he gets, we’ll see it play out in a different emotional way.” READ FULL STORY

'Fifty Shades of Grey': Who should take over for Charlie Hunnam?

Well, ain’t that a kick in the head with an over-the-knee vinyl stiletto fetish boot?

Just when everyone had finally started to accept that Charlie Hunnam would play Christian Grey — millionaire, dominant, lip-bite enthusiast — in the film version of E.L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey, the Sons of Anarchy star went and dropped out of the movie. (Blame “scheduling conflicts,” though plenty of conspiracy theorists aren’t buying that excuse.)

Now your mom’s most highly anticipated movie of 2014 is in flux once more, which means we’re in for another flurry of casting rumors — as well as another wave of actors saying they will definitely, definitely not be taking on Christian. So before the cycle begins anew, let’s take a moment to consider who might step into Hunnam’s motorcycle boots. Calling all blue-eyed Adonises — finally, it’s your time to shine!

Matt Bomer
The people’s choice for Christian Grey could be back in the running now, provided he’s actually interested in the part — though that small detail won’t matter much to the mastermind behind this petition. As she wrote this weekend when the news about Hunnam’s exit broke: “I’M SO FREAKING OUT LIKE YOU GUYS I CANT BELIEVE THIS I’M SO HAPPY AND I DONT KNOW WHAT TO SAY IT’S LIKE A MIRACLE I DONT KNOW GUYS.”

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'Fifty Shades of Grey' audition script was 'intense,' says 'Carrie Diaries' star Chloe Bridges

We spent so much time thinking about the actors we wanted to play Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey adaptation that we never stopped to think about what would actually go into the audition process. Which scene would the actors have to read? Perhaps the first time Christian and Ana meet? Or maybe the final scene of the book (you know the one)?

And although the details are still unknown, Carrie Diaries star Chloe Bridges recently told Cosmopolitan a little something about the script she was given to read in the audition room.

“There were three pages of sides that I was going to audition with,” Bridges said. “I read them and then was like, ‘I really can’t do this.'”

So of the two options we proposed, it certainly sounds like the scene was closer in nature to the latter. “If you read these three pages of asides, you would die,” said Bridges, who plays the saucy Donna LaDonna on Diaries and has had her fair share of racy scenes — just not this racy. “I still like to show them to my friends for fun,” Bridges said.
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'Sons of Anarchy' co-star says Charlie Hunnam 'is perfect' for Christian Grey

Another day, another celeb reacting to the news that Charlie Hunnam has been cast to play Christian Grey in the big-screen adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. And this time, it’s Hunnam’s former Sons of Anarchy co-star Taryn Manning singing his praises.

When speaking with E! News yesterday, Manning heard the news of Hunnam’s upcoming role for the first time.

“Wait…what? That’s so amazing! Really? Wow! That is total news to me,” Manning said. “I love Charlie. Working on Sons of Anarchy with him, I mean he has a full accent and just watching him act on set, he is amazing.” READ FULL STORY

'Fifty Shades of Grey' casting: Your mother reacts

Some longtime Entertainment Weekly readers may be familiar with my 66-year-old mother, Joyce Bierly. A retired school teacher who saw Magic Mike four times in the theater, she’s popped up from time to time over the years, from awards show live blogs to the pages of EW when I was doing a Stupid Questions interview with Michael Bolton and we phoned her to ask how many buttons he should undo on his shirt for maximum hotness. (See photographic proof below.) Typing that, I now realize it comes as no surprise that she’s read Fifty Shades of Grey. I actually bought us both copies of the book a couple of years ago to read on vacation. I paged through it the first night while she finished up her latest Sherryl Woods novel or something and immediately called the book club off — but she read it anyway. And the two books that followed. In 10 days.

Because I work at Entertainment Weekly, she would occasionally ask me if I knew anything about the casting rumors she was reading about. I didn’t. When Charlie Hunnam’s name came up recently, I told her why that one might actually pan out: He’s done nude scenes before. He can play an extreme badass that you still like, as seen on Sons of Anarchy. The blockbuster Pacific Rim didn’t make him a household name as expected, but this film definitely will. Even though women do watch SOA, Fifty Shades of Grey will introduce him to a lot more of them. And he’s been kicking around long enough that I don’t think anyone in the industry would fault him for gunning for name recognition at this point — whether or not the film gets a better letter grade than Twilight.

So how does my mother — who’s really your mother — feel about the film now that the leads are officially cast? I phoned her. Here are her thoughts:
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'Fifty Shades of Grey' casting sees fifty shades of backlash

Since it was revealed over the weekend that Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson landed the lead roles in the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey, passionate fans have been in a fury, directing rage-filled tweets at author E L James and film producer Dana Brunetti and starting a petition lobbying for White Collar star Matt Bomer and Mad Men‘s Alexis Bledel to replace the duo as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.

Brunetti tried reasoning with the angry mob, retweeting hateful messages and explaining how the casting process really works.
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'Fifty Shades of Grey': Why Charlie Hunnam is the right choice to play Christian Grey

When my best friend shipped me the Fifty Shades of Grey books and demanded that I read them more than a year ago, I rolled my eyes and reluctantly turned the first page. A week or two later — it’s all a blur at this point — I had finished all three books and had moved on to the next stage of Fifty Shades fandom: Debating who should play the lead role in the film adaptation.

From day one, I was a Matt Bomer supporter through and through. I didn’t care that his hair was too dark — I couldn’t help but picture Christian as a dark brunette for some reason — and I didn’t care that he was gay (he’s an actor). Bomer had the eyes and the overall “prettiness” that Christian was described as having, not to mention the musical ability, and I was sure he’d be a great dancer. Plus, have you seen him in a suit? Next to Bomer, I could understand some of the other arguments — Ian Somerhalder definitely knows how to smolder — but as far as I was concerned, I had my Christian.

And then yesterday, I saw that Charlie Hunnam had been cast in the lead role. I clicked on the story, and before I could get upset by the blond Sons of Anarchy star portraying Mr. Grey, I found myself oddly at ease. Somewhere under the scruff, there was a pretty boy hiding, and I could see him peeking through gorgeous gray eyes. Then I Google Image-searched Hunnam (Catfish-style) to see if I was crazy, and as it turns out, I’m not.
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'Fifty Shades of Grey': Bret Easton Ellis tweets that Robert Pattinson was E. L. James' first choice for Christian

After countless rumors, fake magazine covers, secret conversations, and fan-made movie trailers, Charlie Hunnam has officially been cast as rich-playboy-with-a-secret Christian Grey in the big-screen adaptation of E. L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey. But that doesn’t mean he was the author’s first choice.

According to Bret Easton Ellis, who had once expressed interest in writing the screenplay, James pictured Robert Pattinson in the role of Christian, who’s described in the books as having dark copper-colored hair and, of course, those unforgettable gray eyes.

Ellis tweeted that not only was Pattinson James’ first choice, but that fan favorites Matt Bomer and Ian Somerhalder were “never in the running.” Check out Ellis’ tweets below: READ FULL STORY

Movie Math: What 'Pacific Rim' borrows from 'Deep Blue Sea' (but not from 'Point Break')

Spoiler alert! If you haven’t seen Pacific Rim, you may not want to peek at our mega Movie Math construction below, which references key plot points and the end credits surprise to build Guillermo del Toro’s visual, movable feast. If you have, proceed.  READ FULL STORY

Why 'Pacific Rim' is a good movie for geek girls

There isn’t much entertainment out there for ladies of the geek persuasion — or to be more accurate, geek ladies and geek gentlemen attracted to other gentlemen. Well, at least there isn’t much marketed directly to us. But we all know the dirty little secret of being a geek lady in a predominately geek man’s world — there are a lot of hot guys in sci-fi movies. Pacific Rim, which opened yesterday, is no exception. SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!

Pacific Rim is in no way a perfect movie. It’s plagued with corny dialogue, underdeveloped characters, and a predictable, anticlimactic ending. And like most sci-fi movies, it doesn’t pass the Bechdel test. The Bechdel test, named after cartoonist Alison Bechdel, requires a movie to include at least two named female characters who talk to each other about something besides a man. There are two named women in Pacific Rim — Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) and Lt. Sasha Kaidanovsky (Heather Doerksen). However, Doerksen has a small role, says a few lines (most of which are directed toward her husband and copilot), and dies in the middle of the movie. Kikuchi’s Mako is a central character with a dynamic story arc though she’s less active than her male counterparts. Unlike many ladies in sci-fi, she is not objectified or criticized solely on the basis of her gender — a conscious decision made by director Guillermo del Toro. READ FULL STORY

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