Actor Charlie Hunnam has dropped out of the big screen adaptation of E L James's bestselling erotic novel, 'Fifty Shades of Grey, just weeks after being cast in the role of Christian Grey.
The 33-year-old actor, who had been chosen to play the billionaire in the much-awaited adaptation, backed out of the movie due to scheduling conflicts, said the Hollywood Reporter.
"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.
Universal and Focus Features' adaptation, is directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson. Actress Dakota Johnson, would be playing Grey's love interest, Anastasia Steele.
'Sons of Anarchy' star's TV production was to reportedly end on October 21 and the movie production was set to start in November.
Another reason cited for Hunnam's exit is the hype created around the casting.
"He was overwhelmed with the attention he received from being cast in the movie and got cold feet about carrying such a high-profile project," a source said.
"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 source added.