Whoa! Charlie Hunnam Quits The ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Movie

Homie got cold feet

Welp, it looks like all of you Sons of Anarchy fans who were all excited that hottie Charlie Hunnam would be starring in the much-ballyhooed film adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey are going to be disappointed because today we learn that Hunnam has decided to QUIT the movie altogether. According to a report from The Hollywood Reporter, Charlie got a little freaked out by all of the attention generated by his casting and he got “cold feet”. As a result, Charlie quit the movie … leaving the lead role open for a new actor. Wow.

Charlie Hunnam is exiting Fifty Shades of Grey. “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 said in a statement. The Sons of Anarchy actor was set to star as Christian Grey alongside Dakota Johnson in the adaptation of E L James bestselling book. Sam Taylor-Johnson (Nowhere Boy) is directing the film. Sons of Anarchy ‘s production was to end Oct. 21. The production on Fifty Shades was set to start in Vancouver first in November. Two sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Hunnam, 33, was overwhelmed with the attention he received from being cast in the movie and got cold feet about carrying such a high-profile project. Universal was forced to hire bodyguards for the actor at a recent Sons of Anarchy premiere, where questions about Fifty Shades dominated the red carpet. The sources caution that Hunnam had no reservation about the role of Christian Grey, just the media and fan frenzy that came along with it, especially as he was transitioning from Sons to Fifty Shades so quickly. Hunnam’s exit leaves Universal and producers Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti in a very tough position. The studio has set an Aug 1, 2014 release date for the film, and any delays in the production schedule could imperil that release date.

50 Shades author E.L. James had this to say about Charlie‘s exit:

I wish Charlie all the best. x

Since I don’t have a vested interest in this movie at all, I’m not really affected by this news. I will say that I was great intrigued by Hunnam‘s casting and that alone piqued my interest enough to make me curious about the movie. I honestly cannot believe that any actor would give up a choice role like this in such a hugely anticipated movie but, then again, all one has to do is look at how miserable Robert Pattinson looks on an every day basis to realize that fame and fortune comes at a high personal price. And now … the search begins for the man who will secure the 50 Shades lead. I’m assuming the runner up actors are being courted right now. We should know soon who will become the new Christian Grey. Who would YOU like to see in the role? What do you make of Charlie‘s exit? Are you happy or … bummed?

[Source, Source]

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  1. I don’t blame him one bit. I have never read these books (nor have any desire too), but those who follow them seem a bit on the obsessive side.

    • @Meghan: And those same obsessive types are probably squeeing at this announcement and preparing their petitions to get Matt Bomer to reconsider going after this role.

  2. Casey

    I don’t believe thats the reason at all. Both him and the producer knew about his work schedule in the first place and I’m sure the producer would have made something work for him. I think he got cold feet due partly because of the public backlash and the added attention he was getting. I mean like you said this is a role that could have catapulted him to another level if it was made correctly. Plus I sure the producer were disappointment but the negativity of his casting got so they didn’t work to keep him

  3. Zanne

    I’m glad he quit – my respect for him as an actor has been restored. Besides, he’s already a big enough name that this role wouldn’t have “made” him as an actor.

    • Eh. I think it for sure would have changed his world. I don’t watch Sons of Anarchy and had not heard of him until this happened. Big enough actor not yet.

    • Vicky

      Sons of Anarchy is one of the best shows on television. Watch one episode and you will never be able to forget who Charlie Hunnam is (even if you wanted to… which you won’t)

    • I’m not denying it is a good show. Just not a HUGE well known show.

    • Zanne

      Nah, he’s as big of a name as he wants to be. Since his “Green Street Hooligan” days with Elijah Wood and “Cold Mountain,” which was nominated for multiple Oscars, I think he’s been able to do what he wants. He was on Stephenie Meyer’s short list for Edward – not that it would have necessarily been up to her – but she posted on her website way back when that his agent said “Charlie doesn’t do vampire movies.” So this will be his second time dodging that bullet! ;)

    • LMAO! omg Edward?! Nooooooooo. he is way more awesome than that!

    • @Zanne Actually, Charlie was Meyer’s dream actor choice to play Carlisle Cullen, not Edward. Her dream Edward was always Henry Cavill…until he looked too old to play the part. But that list was never an official thing, it was just a personal blog post on her website (it’s still available there) listing actor choices for the characters back when the movie rights were optioned. Back then Meyer had next to zero in the movie much less in its casting.

  4. Lisa

    I think the movie has a good chance of being totally cheesy. Maybe he doesn’t want to be forever remembered in that role. Either way I vote Ian S!

  5. I can totally believe that he got cold feet if I judge it by the source material. I don’t think fan backlash had much to do with this TBH because that’s just what usually happens when you mix movie adaptations and passionate book fandoms. The main diference here is that Fifty Shades is already mainstream, so the response seems amplified. Fifty Shades is popular and seemingly anticipated –if only because people seem to have an opinion on it, whether it’s a positive or negative one– but some actors make a priority out of other factors. My guess is that he didn’t think the project wasn’t shaping up to be worth the gamble, and I can’t say I blame him. Ultimately, I think the decision was taken in the best interest of his career. I think it’s for the best.

  6. greatest career move ever. this movie is going to be a disaster no matter who takes the role. Charlie dodged one here. and now i can go back to acting like this movie doesnt exist.

  7. Alecia

    Yeah this wasn’t something I was interested in either. From what I heard the books were poorly written. I’m willing to attempt to read most things but I can’t deal with bad writing off the bat.
    Anyways, I think you have a point about Pattinson, Trent. Since Twilight he’s had a lot of mainstream success but at the same time he can’t really go back to just being a pure talent. And I noticed he’s gone back to taking small roles in smaller films. Sometimes it’s great to strike gold but it comes at a cost not many think about.
    I’m sure some other actor will be happy for this type of opportunity.

    • Missy

      Poorly written puts it mildly.

      I don’t think Robert Pattinson should do it. Since 50 Shades started off as a Twilight fanfic (which I feel explains why it’s so poorly written), it just seems way too much down the same vein to have “Edward Cullen” play a role that started off being named Edward Cullen.

  8. NOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

  9. Cee

    Great career move to accept the role, then quit. Sons is huge in Australia and he was all over the home pages of news websites and whatnot yesterday. He’ll be more famous for turning down this hot mess than he was if he were in it. We know this movie will be TERRIBLE.

  10. Samantha

    Hes great in SOA but I don’t think he could’ve pulled off Christain Grey’s vulnerable and loving side as good as Ian Somerhalder could

  11. Meagan

    You know what, good for him. His life would have been over had this transpired. it’s refreshing to see an actor think about the consequences of his choices rather than jump into a role with only fame and fortune in mind. I think he would have really regretted it.

  12. meme

    Smart move, Charlie. This movie is a career killer.

  13. I think this movie’s hype would have over shadowed his talent. Right now, he has the respect of the industry for his WORK. If he wants to be an Oscar contender someday, I think it would hurt his career not only to be associated with something so low brow, but to be associated with a rabid and demanding fan base. Charlie has the respect and success right now to book character driven films that will add to his credibility. Because 50S is a series of films, it would take up YEARS of his time, making him turn down quality roles because of scheduling.

    I do think that Twilight has hurt Pattinson’s career, as everything he has done since is looked at through the prism of “he’s that Twilight guy”. Post-Vapid-Blockbuster, it makes an actor seem like they get roles for the purpose of getting asses in seats, not because the producers/directors believe in your talent.

  14. Paul

    “…all one has to do is look at how miserable Robert Pattinson looks on an every day basis to realize that fame and fortune comes at a high personal price.”

    Wait! Are you saying there was a time when Robert Pattinson didn’t look like that?

  15. Good for him
    I’m sure he doesn’t want to be Christian Grey for the rest of his life.
    This was a smart choice.

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