Who will play Christian Grey? Gosling is bookies' favourite for 50 Shades of Grey heartthrob

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Drive star Ryan Gosling is the favourite for the lead role in a Hollywood adaptation of literary sensation 50 Shades of Grey according to Ladbrokes.

Gosling's odds are 2/1 to play Christian Grey, with Vampire Diaries'  Ian Somerhalder next in line at 5/2. German actor Michael Fassbender has odds of 3/1 after a female punter placed a three-figure sum down on the Jane Eyre actor to play the suave billionaire from EL James' novels.

Mila Kunis is now the favourite contender to play innocent Anastasia Steele, with odds of 3/1. Scarlett Johansson, who had been hotly tipped for the role, is 4/1, with Elizabeth Olsen (9/2) and Alexis Biedel (5/1) also on the list.

Click here or on "View Gallery" to see the contenders in pictures

The titillating tales have divided opinion, branded 'mummy porn' for the sadomasochistic sex scenes it includes.

Dr Faye Skelton of the University of Lancashire has even created an e-fit of Christian Grey's appearance. A poll on The Telegraph website (at time of writing) shows 86 percent of readers disagree with her interpretation of his appearance - an indication of the strength of feeling the character provokes.

“The nation has gone 50 shades of crazy for the book so it’s impossible to see how the film won’t be a success either," Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said. "The odds suggest 50 Shades will cane its competition in the box office.”