Breaking: "Pacific Rim" star Charlie Hunnam has dropped out of Focus/Universal's "Fifty Shades of Grey." The studio is citing a sort of scheduling conflict with his FX motorcycle club drama "Sons Of Anarchy," but it could be code for the already-coded "creative differences."
Here's the statement from Universal: “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.” A mutual parting of the ways as it were, but it does sound like there's something more there. As Deadline posits, "It seems more likely that Hunnam had time to think about it, and decided the role didn’t fit him like that Sons leather jacket he wears. There is a lot of nudity in the film, and calls for the kind of things that might make a veteran actor like Hunnam uncomfortable." We'd buy that.
Dakota Johnson, who will play Anastasia Steele, is still on board and Jennifer Ehle recently joined the cast. To be directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson ("Nowhere Boy"), "Fifty Shades of Grey" is currently still slated for release on August 1, 2014 and shooting is supposed to begin next month, so they'll have to find a new lead ASAP. More to come when we have it.