Now that Charlie Hunnam is out, who's in?
Following outrage over the Sons of Anarchy star's casting as Christian Grey in the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey flick, Universal Pictures and Focus Features announced Saturday Hunnam had pulled out of the erotic drama.
"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 Pictures and Focus Features said in a joint statement obtained by E! News.
While the production companies have yet to reveal if they've already selected another actor for the role, author Bret Easton Ellis told E! News last month Robert Pattinson was Fifty Shades author E.L. James' "first choice" for Christian Grey.
Although fans of the novel weren't too thrilled by the casting choices of Hunnam and Dakota Johnson (Anastasia Steele) at the time of the announcement, it appeared the actors' chemistry played a big role in nabbing the roles, with The Wrap reporting their "chemistry read" during auditions sealed the deal.
Producer Dana Brunetti also commented on the casting backlash at the time, tweeting, "There is a lot that goes into casting that isn't just looks. Talent, availability, their desire to do it, chemistry with other actor, etc. So if your favorite wasn't cast, then it is most likely due to something on that list. Keep that in mind while hating and keep perspective."
As for what led Hunnam to drop out of the film in the first place, a source told E! News his decision wasn't "a surprise," adding, "what he was taking on with this role was not what Charlie wants in his future career."
"The attention and the pressure was intense," the source explained. "More than anything he hates attention and being in Fifty Shades of Grey would force him to do lots of media. That's really not his thing. Charlie doesn't want to be massively famous. Plus, he hates conforming and being told what to do. This role would force him to have to be something he is not."
In spite of the drop out, Hunnam was all smiles following the announcement, attending the wedding of celebrity publicist Jennifer Betts Saturday and giving a toast to the bride and groom.
Who do you think should play Christian Grey? Sound off in the comments!