Charlie Hunnam drops out of Fifty Shades of Grey Film

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A few weeks ago we reported that the leading roles for the forthcoming film version of Fifty Shades of Grey had been announced, with author EL James taking to Twitter to announce that the stars would indeed be Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson. For any of you who saw that as a match made in heaven, brace yourselves for bad news. It seems that Charlie Hunnam has decided to pull out of the film and will not be smouldering on screen as Christian Grey after all

Hunnam had originally turned down the role in the erotic blockbuster because he feared scheduling conflicts with his TV work and that the timing of both the film and his other commitments would ultimately clash. Somehow persuaded that it would all be fine and that we could indeed accept the role, it seems that over-optimism may have been in play and he has now been forced to accept the inevitable. Apart from the fact that on the success of the book alone it would have grossed well at the box office, it would also have been Hunnam’s first role of note on the big rather than the small screen

In a statement, Universal Pictures said Hunnam's withdrawal was a mutual decision, adding that the time the actor had to prepare for the film had been limited by his television work.

Hunnam is best known for his role as Jax Teller in the top class American biker drama, Sons of Anarchy where he charts a Shakesperian path through the trials and torments of gun running, love, loyalty and family. He first came to prominence as Nathan Maloney in the sexually explicit Channel 4 mini-series Queer as Folk but also played Pete Dunham in Green Street, a film about football hooliganism.

Last month, he said he was "very excited and honoured to be entrusted with bringing an incredible character to life".

It is not yet known who will replace Hunnam.

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