Charlie Hunnam Falls Out of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’


Universal cites sked conflicts with thesp's TV work as reason

Charlie Hunnam has fallen out of Universal and Focus’ “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

Universal said the thesp left the highly anticipated adaptation of E.L. James’ novels because of conflicts with the shooting sked on his FX series “Sons of Anarchy.”

10 Actors Who Could Replace Charlie Hunnam

Hunnam and Dakota Johnson were set for the lead “Grey” roles of Christian Grey and Anastastia Steel in September.

The stated reason for Hunnam’s departure immediately raised eyebrows. Many “Grey” fans were vocal about their dissatisfaction with the choice of the British thesp best known for his work as a hard-driving biker on FX’s action-drama series.

“The filmmakers of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and Charlie Hunnam have agreed to find another male lead given Hunnam’s immersive TV schedule which is not allowing him time to adequately prepare for the role of Christian Grey,” Universal said in a statement issued Saturday.

Universal and Focus will have to move fast to find a replacement as production was set to start at the end of the month. Focus is also in the midst of a major exec shakeup, with the ouster of longtime leader James Schamus earlier this month and Peter Schlessel coming on board.
Hunnam’s departure may cause a delay in “Grey’s” production sked given how long it took to settle on Hunnam for the key Grey role.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” is slated to open in  August.

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  1. Halena Rose says:

    Please David Lyons is perfect!!!!

  2. Cheryl says:

    James Scott…..without a doubt. Fits the description perfectly……I too pictured him while reading the book!!!!…..Please pass it on!!!

  3. David Lyons. No doubt.

  4. PkDekho says:

    Bradley James would be perfect.

  5. Sam says:

    I would cast Paul Bettany as Christian. Hands down.

  6. Megs says:

    I love Charlie’s work – and he is gorgeous – and I would have seen the movie because of him. BUT I love Charlie and am soooo glad that he backed out of this. He’s better than this and he knows it…two great flicks already lined up with amazing leading ladies. 50 Shades was lucky to have him briefly but I think he knew it wasn’t the right fit for his goals. Nice to see someone talented with a soul.

  7. As a creative writing professor, novelist and screenwriter, I have had experience in adapting difficult novels to screen. First, I was surprised that these books, although no question titillating to the ladies, would even make a half-way decent movie because let’s face it, this story is more in the “porn” genre. To get this to an “R” Rating you will have to work your chops off. I have adapted several movies, and for what my opinion is worth ,for this movie to be a success, it would mean an entire new and carefully crafted BACKSTORY for Christian. He comes over as a cold, somewhat obnoxious character from the start, and for the audience to connect to this kind of personality will take the equivalent of running a parallel back story threaded through to explain what is going on in his mind almost al the way. Backstory is a beast, so good luck to whoever you find to write the parallel storyline. Personally, if you don’t give your actor more humanity and empathy with understandable reasons for why he is the way he is, this is going to “bomb” no matter who is hired for the lead.
    Dr. Carole A. Western ..

  8. Elsie says:

    When they announced Hunnam and Johnson, I actually thought I might see this movie, having a not-too-well-known but quality leads. Hunnam would have been great but this might be a smart move on his part. I hope they get a real actor and not a “fan favorite” like Bomer or Somerhalder who would both be awful and would not bring out the best in the talented Dakota Johnson.

  9. CDR says:

    So sad to see that Charlie gave up the role. He is such an amazing actor and really would have been able to capture Christian’s character. If people saw him on SOA, and his conflict constantly between good and evil, and his emotion they would have understood why they chose him to begin with. I am extremely disappointed.

    • Cuddie says:

      Agree. He had the depth to portray this damaged character. I just hope they cast based on acting skills and not settle for the perfect look with lame acting.

  10. Cheryl milgram says:

    Ryan gosling

  11. It should be Ian by overwhelming opinion

  12. nessa says:

    Its should be Ian Somerhalder. Matt is cute, but he has nothing on Ian. Also I know everyone is like it does not matter that he is gay. But for this particular role. I think its pretty damn important that the actor is attracted to women.

  13. nessa says:

    They should replace Dakota too. She should have NEVER been chosen to play Ana.

  14. Megs says:

    Good for you, Charlie! He would have rocked the role because he’s that talented BUT I’ve a feeling it just wasn’t sitting well with him and he finally realized he needed to pass…good career move because you are better than this project. Looking forward to your other films and, of course, Jax!

  15. Deborah wald says:

    Douglas Booth. A beautiful man to portray Christian Grey.

  16. rgold02 says:

    Let someone else do it that is out of work and has more time to learn the role.

  17. I really think it’s for the best. I didn’t see him in the role at all. It will be interesting to see who they end up going with.

  18. Rhalando Lives in Wesh Hollywood says:

    Make it a PG version with Dakota Fanning! Get rid of the other Dakota she can go NORTH like Kanye Weshes chillen! We don’t need any more nudity with Amanda Seyfried or the shapes of Kat Dennings!

  19. anna says:

    i think the new christian grey should be played by matthew bomer. he is young,goodlooking,and has such a sexy way about him.

  20. Vino says:

    Yah, and what about that “Nowhere” director ! Y’all don’t even mention that factor.

  21. Thomas says:

    I think that it’s a shame, Charlie Hunnam dropping the role. I have read the first of the three novels, intending to read the second, and I actually thought that the studio had amazingly done a good job with the pick – speaking also with regard to Dakota Johnson.

    I’m being completely honest – I actually thought, seeing for the first time the two actors pictures, side by side one another, to be quite amazingly correct picks for the two key roles!

    I think Hunnam should maintain onto the role – I think the studio should just wait, perhaps suspend the wheels of motion for just an enough amount of time, let him the time to figure out how to fit more suitably this role with his other commitments, and defer from November t say perhaps January next year, or whatever’s most feasible.

    I’m not a Fifty Shades fan, but I do sincerely think that anyone who is a fan of the show should have been happy with that pick.

    Again, as said……….let’s now hope for another backtrack.

  22. Lauren says:

    I hope Dakota drops too. She is NOT Ana!

  23. Louise says:

    I would have loved HUNNAM. I love him on Sons. I am hoping the Movie will be as romantic as the
    book implies and not just sexual scenes. It was very romantic to me, I am white, 70yrs and a huge
    Movie Fan. I am looking forward to a L O V E story with a handsome man on a white horse coming to
    rescue a beautiful damsel. I am not into PORN or a weirdo. But read the story not just the sex.

  24. Go After #JamesScott of #Days of our Lives Now that’s a Christian Grey. He was who I pictured when reading the books,(even now) if Christian Grey is mentioned … Love #JamesScott……..

    • April says:

      Couldn’t agree more!!! I thought James Scott would make a great Christian Grey from the first time I heard there may be a movie. His character on Days of Our Lives, EJ, pretty much is Christian Grey. Handsome, mysterious, cold yet charming and can be very sweet when he needs to be.

  25. Brice says:

    …and down to the C list they go.

  26. Lana says:

    Now waiting on Dakota to drop…hurry up!

  27. David says:

    I nominate John Boehner and Miley Cyrus for the leads. Seriously, that book is a joke.

  28. kar says:

    It’s Dakota that needed to go.

  29. BillyZ says:

    LMAO!!! Fifty is an AWFUL book – one of the worst I’ve ever read. The casting process was a joke – even by recent Hollywood standards. And the lead choices were HORRID. At least these yahoos are consistently BAD!

  30. good move on his part…average director…loser project…

  31. Jennifer Gallagher says:

    whoever takes this their career will go down the pan.. they will not touch it with a ten foot pole !!

  32. Sandy says:

    Recast BOTH!!

    • Mary says:

      how about the two on a show I like on abc…Betrayal……Stuart Townsend…and Hannah Ware ???
      if you have seen the show….you will know whom I mean. They have great chemistry..and are fairly

  33. Lindsay says:

    Replace Dakota while you’re at it! She is god awful for Ana!

  34. Chrisez says:

    Please keep Dakota!

  35. sam says:


  36. karine says:

    Good for Charlie,for dodging that bullet. Why would you want your name attached to this crapshow…

  37. kati says:

    Eric Dane should be CG!

  38. laracalyx says:

    Really this is these are the Best News since 2 Month… Hope some better will get the role as Christian Grey… Someone who fits better…

  39. Melanie says:

    You dodged a bullet Charlie.

  40. Lin says:

    So sad to hear this….NOT! I have no clue how this book trilogy ended up on any best seller list. The writing was disjointed, amateurish, and was just plain bad! If this is what the majority of “Mommys” think that this qualifies as porn, they definitely need to get out more! I can only hope that the screenwriter is more skilled than the author was!

  41. Tim says:

    Thesp. Sked. Seriously? Was this a reprint from a jr high school paper?

  42. Just Confused says:

    Instead of trying to “get it right”, WHY NOT just permanently shelve this piece of puerile garbage? This enhances no one and no COMPANY associated with it. Those who enjoy “dumpster diving” can read the books over and over again and never be disappointed by their own imagination…..or am I…..

  43. Lauren says:

    Ugh!! If only it was Dakota and not Charlie! Damn.

  44. jayne clare says:

    Good. Didnt want him as christian grey

  45. Marie M says:

    Good move for Hunnam. Think the role would not have moved his career forward.

  46. Lauren says:

    Ugh!! If only it was Dakota and not Charlie!

  47. Chris says:

    Thank god. I hope they get no one for this farce of a movie.

  48. Glenn C. says:

    Hello all fans. Just read how Gosling was the first one they went to and he turned it down. Doesn’t want any part in this. Not crazy about the actress they picked for this. To me, not attractive enough. To each his/her own.

  49. Eliza Whitney says:

    I had no idea how angry I was about him being cast until I got this news… and now I can breathe again. :) I LOVE Charlie Hunnam and hated Fifty Shades. He’s too good for this movie. But I know Sons of Anarchy’s viewership went up in the meantime. All those sheltered, soccer moms who thought Fifty was actually a “dirty” book (and not the vanilla pile of garbage it actually is) are now watching a show about a motorcycle club. Ha!

    • DM says:

      Thanks for the sweeping generalization. You think all soccer moms are sheltered or that they’re into vanilla sex? You have no idea how broad the audience for FSOG really is. Single women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, make up a huge part of the audience. No need to bash women, sister.

      • blip says:

        DM, I like to think that women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s are not into hideously written relationships with shallow, abusive, controlling stalkers, but I’d hate to offend you by making a sweeping generalization. And, by the way, if you *are* into that kind of garbage, I am not your “sister.”

  50. Andy B says:

    BRAVO! here’s hoping this adaptation of a guidebook to abusive relationships languishes in pre-production for lack of a male lead – i’m glad the career of a brilliant young actor like Hunnam won’t be sullied with this association. talk about slipping the noose.

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