NEW YORK — Charlie Hunnam is dropping out of the highly anticipated big-screen version of “Fifty Shades of Grey” just weeks after being cast as the lead, citing his busy schedule.
Universal announced Saturday that the actor who was to play Christian Grey will depart the project. The studio called it a mutual decision because Hunnam’s preparation time was limited by his television schedule. He stars in the series “Sons of Anarchy.”
It’s an abrupt and embarrassing switch for a high-profile film. Fans of E L James’ erotic best-seller are eagerly awaiting the movie adaptation, which will be directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson. Dakota Johnson remains in the co-starring role of Anastasia Steele. Hunnam’s replacement is being sought.
The 33-year-old Hunnam said last month he initially turned down the role because of timing issues.