February 15, 2016
'Fifty Shades Darker' Has Finally Cast The Role Of Christian Grey's Rival, Jack Hyde

Just as Fifty Shades Darker is expected to start production, producers have finally rounded out the final pieces to the cast. In recent weeks, producers have steadily released casting announcements on several important characters, including those of Leila Williams and Mrs. Robinson. Now, it appears as though they have finally cast the role of the main villain in the Fifty Shades of Grey sequel, Jack Hyde.

According to Variety, Eric Johnson is set to play the part of Jack Hyde in the highly-anticipated sequel. Although Johnson has yet to appear in a major movie in his career, he has been involved in the past two seasons of The Knick on Cinemax. Johnson portrayed Dr. Everett Gallinger in the series and is repped by WME, Bloom Hergott, and Anonymous.

Clive Owen and Eric Johnson on 'The Knick.' [Image via Cinemax]
Clive Owen and Eric Johnson on 'The Knick.' [Image via Cinemax]According to Coming Soon, Hyde is one of the main antagonists in Fifty Shades Darker. In the books by E.L. James, Hyde is introduced as Anastasia Steele's (Dakota Johnson) new employer and quickly becomes infatuated with Ana. Considering Christian Grey's (Jamie Dornan) feelings for Ana, Hyde's love for Ana, and his subsequent advancements do not sit well with Christian.

Ever further, Christian and Hyde have their own history together that definitely complicates matters. The two characters are longtime rivals and have known each other since childhood. Their rivalry and Hyde's affection for Ana will definitely stir up the waters as Christian tries to navigate through his own feelings for Ana in the film.

Meanwhile, the recent casting announcement follows the news that producers have cast the parts of both Leila Williams and Mrs. Robinson. Veteran actress Kim Basinger will play the part of Mrs. Robinson while Bella Heathcote will portray Leila in Fifty Shades Darker.

Kim Basinger will play Christian Grey's BDSM mentor Mrs. Lincoln. [Photo by Dario Catatore/Getty]
Kim Basinger will play Christian Grey's BDSM mentor, Mrs. Lincoln. [Photo by Dario Catatore/Getty Images]Both Leila and Mrs. Robinson have a history with Christian that should add more opportunities to delve deeper into his character in the coming film. Mrs. Robinson, also known as Elena Lincoln, is the woman who first introduced Christian to BDSM and was his original dominant partner. Leila, on the other hand, is Christian's former submissive partner whose recent mental breakdown is set to wreak havoc on Christian's life.

Considering the introduction of some volatile characters in Fifty Shades Darker, fans can expect a completely different look and feel to the sequel. While the movie will certainly include its share of erotic moments, there will be a noticeable tension in the air as the film adapts the tone of a thriller. Furthermore, director Sam Taylor-Johnson's departure should go a long way in creating a new experience for fans when the film hits theaters next year.

Although Fifty Shades of Grey managed to pull in some $570 million in box office sales, Taylor-Johnson decided to exit the franchise following reports of on-set disputes. Apparently, the director did not get along well with E.L. James, who had her own set of ideas as to what should and should not be included in the movie.

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson star as Christian and Anastasia in the 'Fifty Shades' series. [Image via Universal]
Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson star as Christian and Anastasia in the 'Fifty Shades' series. [Image via Universal]James Foley was hired to replace Taylor-Johnson and is expected to helm both Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed. The upcoming movie will also feature a change in writers with Niall Leonard, James' significant other, is set to pen the script for the sequel.

James, Michael De Luca, and Dana Brunetti are serving as executive producers for the erotic drama. Both Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson are set to reprise their roles as the lead characters, while Arielle Kebbel is set to portray the part of Gia Matteo.

Fifty Shades Darker is scheduled to open in theaters on February 10, 2017. Fifty Shades Freed is slated to premiere a year later.

Tell us! What do you think of the addition of Eric Johnson as Jack Hyde in Fifty Shades Darker? Let us know in the comments and check him out in a scene from The Knick below.

[Image via Cinemax]