Conflicting reports give a variety of ideas as to why the Brit actor dropped out of the erotica project
After things were looking so promising and as though they were finally ready to get off the ground, the Fifty Shades of Grey movie has hit yet another stumbling block. Charlie Hunnam, the man signed on for the lead role as Christian Grey, has officially dropped out of the project, leaving the film's makers with the task of finding yet another Grey.
Citing an "immersive" schedule ahead of him as the reason he dropped out of the project, his own excuse has since been followed by others claiming he had ulterior motives to leave the book adaptation behind. When his decision to leave the project was made clear on Saturday, 12 October, through a statement from Universal, it cited "Hunnam’s immersive TV schedule," as the sole reason for his exit, "which is not allowing him time to adequately prepare for the role of Christian Grey."
However, since then there have been other explanations as to why Hunnam chose to drop out of the project. According to E! News, the role of Christian Grey would bring with it more and more media attention and Hunnam was already becoming overwhelmed with the attention the role brought him. It isn't the role of the S&M-obsessed Grey that has put him off of the role, just the constant media and fan frenzy that surrounds it and for this reason he chose to give up the coveted role. The attention and the pressure was intense," the source explained.
"More than anything he hates attention and being in Fifty Shades of Grey would force him to do lots of media. That's really not his thing. Charlie doesn't want to be massively famous. Plus, he hates conforming and being told what to do. This role would force him to have to be something he is not."
The source then went on to explain how Charlie's friends were all shocked to learn that he had applied for the part in the first place, as it seemed so off character to go for such a high profile role. The fact that he was such an unpopular choice among the book's most devot fans, who even began an online petition to have him replaced with another actor (namely Ian Somerhalder or Matt Bomer), was also a factor in him chiosing to leave the project behind.
50 Shades of Grey will be directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and Dakota Johnson is still scheduled to take on the starring role of Anastasia Steele. The film is still slated for an August 1st 2014 release date, however Hunnam's exit may pose a threat to the completion of the film and whether it will make it out in cinemas in time to adhere to the set date.
Ian Somerhalder (L) and Matt Bomer (R) are the fan's favourites to replace Hunnam
Dakota Johnson is still in line to play Anastasia Steele