Since the movie adaptation of E.L. James’ "Fifty Shades of Grey" trilogy was announced, the race to see who would play mysterious billionaire Christian Grey was on. Needless to say, the female fans of the racy trilogy had strong opinions on who should portray their favorite lead character on screen.
On Sept. 2, the wait was finally over: Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson were going to play Christian Grey and his love interest, Anastasia Steele. Fans, however, had mixed feelings about the casting from the get-go and let them be known vociferously. Over the course of the following month their protests only grew stronger – and some went so far as to start a petition to change the leads.
Saturday, Hunnam dropped out of playing Christian Grey. Hunnam, 33, who plays Jackson “Jax” Teller in the FX series “Sons of Anarchy,” cited his busy TV schedule as the reason. After the news broke, James quickly took to Twitter to support Hunnam in his decision:
I wish Charlie all the best. x
— E L James (@E_L_James) October 12, 2013
According to E! News, Hunnam is very content in his decision to relinquish the coveted role. A source told E! the "Sons of Anarchy star" was all smiles at celebrity publicist Jennifer Betts' wedding Saturday in Santa Barbara, Calif. Hunnam seemed happy as he gave a toast to the bride and groom, stirring rumors that he is, in fact, reconciled to his departure from the "Fifty Shades of Grey" film.
Given that the film was set to go into production in Vancouver, British Colombia, on Nov. 5, Universal Pictures needs to find a replacement quickly.