Amid a ton of speculation, Universal has announced that Charlie Hunnam will no longer be playing the role of Christian Grey in the adaptation of EL James’ Fifty Shades of Grey. According to the statement issued by Universal, Hunnam is stepping out of the project because of his “immersive TV schedule which is not allowing him time to adequately prepare for the role of Christian Grey.”
Both Deadline and Variety have pointed out that any scheduling conflicts would most likely have been figured out prior to the earlier announcement last month that Hunnam had accepted the part of Grey in “Fifty Shades.”
Speculation runs deep as to why Hunnam has exited from the project. Was it cold feet over playing a role that would require a whole lot of nudity and some quite interesting sexual activities? Or the intense attention and celebrity status he’d get from playing the role?
Or perhaps it was the outraged fan reaction?
Apparently Fifty Shades fans reacted intensely to the casting of Hunnam as Christian Grey, some going so far as to put together a petition to get rid of the star. (And fans weren’t particularly pleased with the casting of Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steel, either.) In an interview earlier this month with Entertainment Weekly, Hunnam said, “There are so many fans of that book and I know that on the surface, I’m probably not what everybody imagined.”
Topping off the list of actors fans would like to replace Hunnam as Christian Grey? Robert Pattison, Ian Somerhalder and Matt Bomer. Pattison has already passed on the project, though.
It’s definitely all up in the air now. Universal may choose to replace Hunnam with a high-profile actor, or it may go for an unknown. The film is currently scheduled to go into production next month, with an expected release date of August 1, 2014, so a decision would have to be made soon to avoid delay on the project!
Who do you think should play Christian Grey in “Fifty Shades of Grey” now that Charlie Hunnam is no longer in the picture? Let us know in the comments below!