Following outrage over the Sons of Anarchy star’s casting as Christian Grey in the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey flick, Universal Pictures and Focus Features announced Saturday Hunnam had pulled out of the erotic drama.
“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,” Universal Pictures and Focus Features said in a joint statement obtained by E! News.
While the production companies have yet to reveal if they’ve already selected another actor for the role, author Bret Easton Ellis told E! News last month Robert Pattinson was Fifty Shades author E.L. James’ “first choice” for Christian Grey.
Other stars like Matt Bomer, Ian Somerhalder, Ryan Gosling, Alex Pettyfer and Alexander Skarsgard were among many actors rumored to be up for the role.
Although fans of the novel weren’t too thrilled by the casting choices of Hunnam and Dakota Johnson (Anastasia Steele) at the time of the announcement, it appeared the actors’ chemistry played a big role in nabbing the roles, with The Wrap reporting their “chemistry read” during auditions sealed the deal.