When Charlie Hunnam was announced as Christian Grey in the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' movie, fans were thrown for a loop. The 'Sons of Anarchy' star wasn't even any of the names considered to be a major frontrunner for the role, and it seemed as if his casting had come from left field.

While casting directors have defended Hunnam's casting numerous times -- and we think he'll do a fine job -- here are the top fan picks for the 27-year-old billionaire with mommy issues who loves whips and chains.

  • James Franco

    James Franco is dating 'Game of Thrones' star Emilia Clarke. When she began topping polls to play Anastasia Steele, fans' wheels started turning -- and soon Franco's name was thrown into the bucket for Christian Grey.

    Though it seems like 'Fifty Shades of Grey' may be below the Oscar nominee's pay grade, keep in mind that this is the same guy who willingly had his own character arc on 'General Hospital.' It's just a weird enough idea that it could have worked.

    Jason Merritt, Getty Images
  • Chris Hemsworth

    He looks like Adonis, and anyone's who's seen Aussie heartthrob Chris Hemsworth in his small 'Star Trek' role or blockbusters like 'Rush,' 'Snow White and the Huntsman' and 'Thor' knows the man can act. But 'Rush' is precisely one reason why Hemsworth wouldn't consider the part.

    "Look: if I took on that role [after James Hunt] it would begin to seem like typecasting," he said of his casting rumors. "I keep hearing that rumor too. My friend's sister read it and was like, 'Yuck, I can't think of Chris like that.' I think everyone’s name is in that hat."

    Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images
  • Henry Cavill

    Henry Cavill was rumored to be tied to 'Fifty Shades of Grey,' but his rep says those Christian Grey casting tales were the work of fans and that there wasn't any truth to them. We guess he was too busy being the 'Man of Steel' to get into S&M with Anastasia Steele.

    Brendon Thorne, Getty Images
  • Channing Tatum

    Channing Tatum was a 'Fifty Shades of Grey' fan favorite for Christian Grey, and he was willing to take on the role ... under one condition. "I'd only be allowed if my wife was Ana," he told Glamour U.K. "She's read the books so I don't think she'd be impressed if she couldn't be Ana!"

    Dave Kotinsky, Getty Images
  • Chace Crawford

    'Gossip Girl' star Chace Crawford really wanted to be Christian Grey in 'Fifty Shades of Grey,' but apparently E.L. James really did not want him. At all.

    "I would love the challenge," he said. "... I have not read the books, but what I know is that it is risqué, and to be honest, anything to shake up from the way I have been going would be good." He added, "I am only comfortable with S&M sex scenes! The other ones are just too simple and boring for me ... I actually think, whether it is a sex scene, or screaming at something to get something across. I think it is kind of attacked the same way, and you're in the work mode, and you stay professional. It has never been awkward or intimidating."

    Maybe James was mad that Crawford said he didn't read her books, because a source close to the author later dished, "Casting wouldn't look at him as a first, second or even third choice." Ouch!

    Robin Marchant, Getty Images
  • Garrett Hedlund

    Garrett Hedlund was a frontrunner for the role of Christian Grey ... and he turned it down!

    A source close to the actor (and boyfriend to Kirsten Dunst) explained that his decision was mainly based on timing and pure business. "Doing a possible trilogy was too big a commitment, and producers wouldn't let him do just one film."

    Andreas Rentz, Getty Images
  • Robert Pattinson

    Considering 'Fifty Shades of Grey' was based on 'Twilight' fan fiction, it's only natural that E.L. James thought Robert Pattinson was perfect for the role of Christian Grey.

    However, considering Pattinson is still fighting to break free from the Edward Cullen stamp, so it's no surprise he'd decline another franchise so soon -- especially one based on 'Twilight.' Plus, something tells us he'd be a little uncomfortable with those sex scenes.

    Jason Merritt, Getty Images
  • Ian Somerhalder

    Ian Somerhalder was the top choice of 'Fifty Shades of Grey' readers to nab the role of Christian Grey, and he was gung-ho about it. He's got the smolder, the good looks (especially in a suit) and can play a bad boy pretty well. "It could be very, very amazing," Somerhalder said of playing Christian Grey. "I have the book and I just started reading it. That would be a pretty incredible thing, and hopefully that could pan out ... Beyond the shadow of a doubt, I think that would be a phenomenal opportunity!"

    Unfortunately, screenwriter Bret Easton Ellis and E.L. James herself both said the part wouldn't go to Somerhalder. Ellis tweeted, "E.L. James and I were at Rob Pattinson's house when she admitted that Rob was first choice for Christian. Ian Somerhalder never in running." Boo hiss!

    Kevin Winter, Getty Images
  • Ryan Gosling

    Other than Robert Pattinson, Ryan Gosling was E.L. James' favorite for the part of Christian Grey in 'Fifty Shades of Grey.' But sorry, girl -- he didn't want it.

    Gosling was considered the "prototype" for Grey, per The Hollywood Reporter, but simply wasn't interested.

    Frazer Harrison, Getty Images
  • Matt Bomer

    Fans were so eager and desperate to have 'White Collar' star Matt Bomer play Christian Grey in 'Fifty Shades of Grey' that when news of Charlie Hunnam's casting was announced, "Greysessed Bomerettes" actually launched a Change.org petition to get the part recast.

    Sadly for them, Bomer didn't bite. He tactfully told ET Online, "I'm so grateful for the fans and touched. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie with Charlie and Dakota."

    Neilson Barnard, Getty Images