Emma Watson in 50 Shades of Gray

Those long-held, guilt-ridden fantasies over Emma Watson for those who still associate her with her kid-friendly Hermione image may be a few steps closer to justification as the Harry Potter star is rumored to play the lead role of Anastasia Steele in the film adaptation of the erotic novel series 50 Shades of Grey by British author E.L. James.

Potterheads and Twihards might find this either uncomfortable or exciting, knowing the novel was actually a spin-off from a fan fiction based on the Twilight Saga by James, who is herself an amorous fan.  Following Universal Studio’s win over bids to the film rights begins casting intrigues on which hot young pair will bring the steamy scenes to life. Despite its Twilight roots, James admits that Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart are unlikely to be cast. Watson remains a front runner, while other it-girls Emma Stone, Amanda Seyfried and Anne Hathaway also prove to be popular choices. Fan surveys also pair Ana Steele with the likes of Matt Bomer, Henry Cavill, Chris Pine, Ryan Gosling and Ian Somerhalder as the sadist Christian Grey.

Emma WatsonThe film will be produced by Mike De Luca and Dana Brunetti, the team behind The Social Network.

Moving the HP-Twilight crossover aside, Watson is moving on. Proof being she is also slated for a major role as Belle in plans to do a live action remake of Beauty and the Beast by Guillermo del Toro. On top of that, Watson has so far been successful in breaking through the Potter phase. Recently she grabbed another book-based character, Sam, in The Perks of Being a Wallflower with Percy Jackson star Logan Lerman. Watson also made a small appearance in My Week with Marilyn co-starring with Michelle Williams, and played a prime role in a TV film adaptation of 1936 novel Ballet Shoes.

In pre-production and production phase, her recent projects include Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, and Sofia Coppola’s Bling Ring – a film based on true events about a group of rich California girls who formed a heist and robbed celebrity homes. She stars as Nicki alongside Kirsten Dunst, Taissa Farmiga and Leslie Mann. The film is set to be released next year.

So after these diverse but wholesome roles, is Emma ready to enter the, pun intended, Grey area? Some would rather she keep the nice image and some would love to see her in anything. Being a beautiful and talented actress and all, Emma as Steele will definitely make 50 Shades worth a watch.