Just as we were warming up to the idea, Charlie Hunnam has dropped out of the role of Christian Grey in the hotly anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey adaptation. He’s hanging up his erotic handcuffs before the film even begun shooting. The actor said he doesn’t have time to “adequately prepare” for the character.
The 33-year-old British actor’s decision to withdraw from the project comes just a month before the franchise is scheduled to begin shooting.
Universal Studios’ statement to Deadline cites Charlie’s time commitments to the series “Sons of Anarchy” as the reason: “The filmmakers of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and Charlie Hunnam have agreed to find another male lead given Hunnam’s immersive TV schedule which is not allowing him time to adequately prepare for the role of Christian Grey.”
Considering that this movie can’t even blink without the press knowing about it, you’d think that when negotiating Charlie’s contract they would’ve considered this other “side gig” TV show thing of his prior to casting him…
Sources close to the actor tell Hollyscoop that he was also unhappy with the script, which was a major contributor to his decision to drop out. He was spotted over the weekend at a friend's wedding and was "all smiles" and didn't seem too upset about dropping out of the franchise.
Charlie is—uh, was—cast opposite Dakota Johnson, who is still set to play Anastasia Steele, so not all is lost. It’s uncertain how much this will affect her character, though, since the announcement of Hunnam's departure.