Charlie Hunnam Drops Out Of 'Fifty Shades Of Grey'

The role of kinky Christian Grey is up for grabs again. Charlie Hunnam has dropped out of the lead role in Fifty Shades of Grey, Variety reports.

Universal said that Hunnam bowed out of the adaptation of the best-selling E.L. James novel because of conflicts with the shooting schedule on his FX series Sons of Anarchy.

"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.

Of course, some might suspect, as Variety notes, that Hunnam took the vocal criticism of his casting (and that of Dakota Johnson, the female lead) to heart and that the fan blowback, not a scheduling conflict, is the real reason behind his decision to drop out. (Or he finally read the script.)

Dissatisfied fans went so far as to start an online petition begging the studio to cast Matthew Bomer and Alexis Bledel instead.

Recasting might delay production on the erotic drama, which was due to start shooting at the end of the month. It already has a release date, August 2014.

Related:
Ryan Gosling Turned Down '50 Shades Of Grey,' Did We Really Want Him To Be Christian Grey?
Who Is Dakota Johnson, Your New 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Star, Anyway?
Charlie Hunnam, Dakota Johnson Cast As Christian And Anastasia In '50 Shades Of Grey' Movie