Date: 14th October 2013
Charlie Hunnam quit the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' film following the overwhelming hype surrounding the movie adaptation, according to reports.
The Hollywood Reporter has cited two sources that claim the star of 'Sons of Anarchy' exited the project after he got 'cold feet'.
It was reported that at a recent premiere for the latest season of the FX show, Universal were forced to hire extra bodyguards to deal with fans.
The sources added that while Hunnam had no issue with the part of billionaire businessman and S&M fan Christian Grey, the media and 'fan frenzy' left him feeling uncomfortable with the role.
He quit the project, which is being helmed by British director Sam Taylor-Wood, citing the pressures of his busy TV schedule.
"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," read a statement from the film's producers Universal.
But other commentators are also questioning whether Universal's reason for the departure rings true.
"First of all, what kind of preparation does this role really require, aside from some careful manscaping and maybe a wild weekend or two of S&M bondage sessions?" said The Wrap's Jeff Sneider.
"After all, it’s not like this is Matthew McConaughey starving himself for 'Dallas Buyers Club' or Daniel Day-Lewis spending months developing Abraham Lincoln’s voice and mannerisms for Spielberg’s 'Lincoln'."
But Snieder adds that though his departure may make the project appear to be in disarray, it could ultimately help in the long run.
"If Hunnam was reluctant to play Grey, that hesitation would certainly manifest itself in his performance," he said.
"Now Universal and Focus, director Sam Taylor-Johnson, author E L James and producers Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti can refocus their collective efforts on casting someone who actually wants the challenge of playing Grey — and all the baggage that comes with the part."
Source: Press Release