Charlie Hunnam Leaves ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ Christian Grey Role

October 12, 2013

“Sons of Anarchy” star Charlie Hunnam is leaving “Fifty Shades of Grey.” He was to have brought the Christian Grey character of the internationally bestselling E.L. James novel to the big screen. Get the details on the sudden departure, announced by the studio.

The 33-year-old British actor is known for his portrayal of Jax Teller in the popular television series “Sons of Anarchy” on FX. His casting in the Sam Taylor-Johnson-directed screen adaptation of the erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey,” as the billionaire entrepreneur and S&M aficionado Christian Grey had been announced in early September. At that same time, the casting was announced of 24-year-old actress Dakota Johnson — daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith — as Anastasia “Ana” Steele, the object of his dominance and affection.

The official word of his sudden departure came from a written statement from the studio: “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.”

As “Fifty Shades of Grey” is but the first novel of British author E.L. James’ trilogy — which includes “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed” — there were plans for additional movies, all with the as-yet unannounced lead who will replace the departing Charlie Hunnam.

While surprising and sudden, the demands on the actor’s time, as a TV series regular, makes the decision an understandable one. At the time of his casting, in interviews, Charlie Hunnam had expressed unequivocal interest in the role, Of the racy sex scenes of the book, he famously told The Hollywood Reporter, “”My first job was on a Channel 4 miniseries called Queer as Folk. [There were] incredibly explicit sexual scenes with a man,” Hunnam said. “I mean, I’m 16- and 17-years wiser now. So if I could do it when I was 18 with a guy, I can certainly do it at 33 with a lady.” He even noted that his girlfriend, Morgana McNelis who “loved the books” was fine with his decision.

With the sudden announcement, The Hollywood Reporter now quotes sources who say the actor may have gotten cold feet about the “media and fan frenzy” over his part in the movie rather than about the role itself.

Fans of the novels must now await the announcement of the actor who will take Charlie Hunnam’s place as Christian Grey on the big screen for the movie which is to be released on August 1, 2014.

Pictures: PR Photos

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