Before Fifty Shades of Grey was a movie that actually happened, Jamie Dornan's career was looking pretty promising. An excellent starring role as a perverted serial killer leading a double life in Dublin in BBC Two's The Fall had put Dornan firmly on the radar as an actor worth watching, somebody prepared to take a risk and fully embrace a role some actors might have thought twice about.
Now, just to be clear, I'm not saying Jamie Dornan's career is over. He's hot, he can act, and he's the star of a franchise whose first movie took around a half billion dollars at the box office. Life could be worse. His next movie was due to be Burnt, the Bradley Cooper-starring culinary drama from the Weinstein Company due in 2016. Here's the trailer, in case you haven't seen it yet.
You might be wondering why yours and my favourite Dornan is nowhere to be seen in the trailer - well, that would be because his scenes from the movie have all been cut. Cooper's character in the movie, Adam Jones - which was the film's earlier title, before Weinstein opted instead for the equally boring and only vaguely more mysterious Burnt - is attempting to win back an ex (Sienna Miller) who has an issue of her own with Dornan's character, the father of her baby.
Here's what director John Wells had to say about Dornan facing the chop:
"In making every film, cuts and adjustments in storylines inevitably occur. In the case of Burnt, Jamie’s role was a small cameo that he was kind enough to do for us and was part of Sienna Miller’s character’s backstory."
Okay, we should probably give Dornan the benefit of the doubt - scenes do get cut, and it's usually just for "creative reasons", as with Shailene Woodley's Mary Jane scenes not making it into The Amazing Spider-man 2. And, like Woodley, Dornan might actually have had a lucky escape - Burnt doesn't necessarily look like a bad movie, but it does look pretty confused about what it's trying to be. The trailer fails to establish any kind of even tone, and I can't imagine audiences seeing it at the cinema and thinking "that's a film I should watch out for". Essentially, it looks pretty beige.
So Dornan's axe from Burnt basically has nothing to do with Fifty Shades, but there's still a question worth asking here: can a role like Christian Grey, written with almost no real character development, played opposite an actress with whom Dornan has no chemistry, really advance his career? Did he take Grey because he felt it was a worthwhile move, or just an easy paycheque? The fact that it's a question at all only highlights how promising Dornan's career had looked when The Fall came out, and what a bizarre sidestep the Fifty Shades hurricane has turned out to be.
Steamier sex scenes in Fifty Shades Darker
MovieNewsGuide are reporting that the Grey sequel Fifty Shades Darker will go harder in its portrayal of sex, an area in which the first film was surprisingly tame. Probably best to take that with a massive pinch of salt, as the studio will want to guarantee that NC-17 rating - but Dornan should probably get over his rumoured contempt for shooting nude scenes nonetheless.
So, to summarise: Jamie Dornan is a great actor, he's not going to be in Burnt anymore, he's not going to do anything too wild in Fifty Shades Darker, and he could still have an amazing career - but he'd probably be wise to think about where he wants to be in five years and choose his next major role carefully.
Is Jamie Dornan's career still looking promising? Are you stoked for Fifty Shades Darker or Burnt? And what about those pesky sex scenes? As always, leave a comment and share your thoughts...