Ian Somerhalder is the hot favourite to star in the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' movie.

Movie studios Universal and Focus Features have confirmed the highly anticipated film adaptation of E.L. James' best-selling erotic novel will hit the big screen on August 1, 2014, but producers are remaining tight-lipped on the cast.

Focus Features revealed the release date on Twitter, writing: ''#FiftyShadesofGrey is now a shade closer (sic)''

The tweet then linked to an image, which reads: ''CHARLIE TANGO. You are cleared for landing. August 1, 2014.''

Emma Watson, Mila Kunis, Alexis Bledel and Kristen Stewart have been touted to play virginal graduate Anastasia Steele, who embarks on a raunchy sexual relationship with her S&M-loving boss Christian Grey.

Meanwhile, Ian, Alex Pettyfer and Henry Cavill have been named as potential candidates to play the millionaire businessman Christian Grey.

Sam Taylor-Johnson was named as the film's director last week.

She said in a statement: ''For the legions of fans, I want to say that I will honour the power of Erika's book and the characters of Christian and Anastasia. They are under my skin too.''