Mike Fleming

RELATED: Charlie Hunnam Gets Christian Grey Role In ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’

Well, here’s a surprise. Universal is going to have to look harder to find its S&M minded zillionaire Christian Grey because Sons Of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam has exited the role he only just got. He was set early last month to star in what is expected to be at least three movies based on the EL James novel trilogy Fifty Shades Of Grey. The studio issued this statement:

“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.”

I would take this with a grain of salt. While Hunnam has been crushing it so far this season in some of the best Sons Of Anarchy episodes I’ve ever seen, all of this scheduling stuff had already been figured out before he made the deal to star with Dakota Johnson. It seems more likely that Hunnam had time to think about it, and decided the role didn’t fit him like that Sons leather jacket he wears. There is a lot of nudity in the film, and calls for the kind of things that might make a veteran actor like Hunnam uncomfortable. Or maybe he watched as the Twilight Saga leads turned into celebrities and didn’t want that. Either way, Universal, Focus Features, James and director Sam Taylor-Johnson will have to pick up the search. I’m sure there are a lot of names that came below Hunnam so it should not take long. The film is scheduled to begin shooting early next month and it will be released August 1, 2014.

Related: Dakota Johnson Lands ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Role