Charlie Hunnam has dropped out of film adaptation of erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey, which is currently under production by Universal Studios. It is believed the decision was reached mutually by the actor and the production company. Scheduling clashes have been cited as the reason for Hunnam’s departure.
When approached to play the lead role of Christian Grey, Hunnam initially turned the part down due to his busy schedule. It was announced in September that he would star in the film. Hunnam previously said that he was “very excited and honoured to be entrusted with bringing (Grey’s) incredible character to life”.
The production company are now under pressure to find a replacement for Hunnam, as the highly-anticipated film is due to be released in 2014. According to bookmakers, Ian Somerholder, Ryan Gosling and Alexander Skarsgard are likely candidates for the role.
The film will be directed by Sam Taylor Wood, who is best known for her work directing 2009’s Nowhere Boy. It has been confirmed that the role of Anastasia Steel will be played by American actor Dakota Johnson, with Jennifer Ehle taking on the role of her mother.
The erotic novel series written by E.L. James quickly became a bestseller. Over 70 million copies of 50 Shades of Grey have been sold worldwide.