Photo Credit: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic
The search is on -- again! -- for Christian Grey.
Charlie Hunnam will no longer play the role of Christian Grey in the film adaption of E.L. James' erotic novel 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 and Focus Features said in a joint statement.
Soon after the news broke, James tweeted:
I wish Charlie all the best. x— E L James (@E_L_James) October 12, 2013
It was confirmed on Sept. 2 that the Sons of Anarchy actor would play the coveted role alongside actress Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele. Filming was scheduled to begin on Nov. 5, with a release date of Aug. 1, 2014.
After Hunnam signed on for the role, he spoke to reporters on the red carpet of the Sons of Anarchy season premiere. "As soon as we got in the room and I started reading with Dakota I knew that I definitely wanted to do it," he said. "There's just like a tangible chemistry between us. It felt exciting and fun and weird and compelling."
However, we don't believe that Hunnam's schedule is the reason for his sudden departure. Matthew Belloni, executive editor at The Hollywood Reporter, stated a more plausible reason for the actor to drop the role.
2 sources now say Hunnam got cold feet on #50Shades movie, TV schedule said to have had nothing to do with his exit.— Matthew Belloni (@THRMattBelloni) October 12, 2013
Soon after Hunnam was set to play the part, he received criticism from fans with a petition on Change.org to drop him and Johnson for White Collar's Matt Bomer and Gilmore Girls' Alexis Bledel. The petition currently has over 87,000 signatures.
The minute the news of Hunnam dropping out was announced, the hashtag #BomerforGrey immediately became a worldwide trending topic. Thousands of tweets like these flooded the social network.
Hunnam won't play Grey. Yay! Matt's better. #BomerForGrey— Through The Never (@imariser) October 13, 2013
#BomerForGrey Matt bomer for grey!!!!!!— Itsamaraburgueño (@ItsamaraB) October 13, 2013
Our top choice is Bomer. Not only is he the fan favorite, but he fits the description perfectly and clearly plays the part well. Check out this unofficial trailer of Bomer and Bledel created by a fan.
The actor even expressed gratitude toward his fans. “I’m so grateful for the fans and touched. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie with Charlie and Dakota,” he told ETonline. Grateful enough to take on the role? We hope so!
We are also rooting for an actor that hasn't been thrown into the mix: Clint Eastwood's swoon-worthy son, Scott Eastwood. Just look at these photos. The sexy star has Christian Grey written all over him.
James previously expressed that she wanted Robert Pattinson to play the part, while The Vampire Diaries' Ian Somerhalder and Gossip Girl's Chace Crawford are also fan favorites.
Although Hunnam's previous roles include Sons of Anarchy and Pacific Rim, Fifty Shades of Grey would have been his first major movie role, which would typecast him as the dominant, sex-crazed Grey. Under these circumstances, we would have cold feet, too.
A source told E! that Hunnam's departure doesn't come as too much of a shock. "This isn't a surprise because what he was taking on with this role was not what Charlie wants in his future career.”
"The attention and the pressure was intense," the source continued. "More than anything he hates attention and being in Fifty Shades of Grey would force him to do lots of media. That's really not his thing. Charlie doesn't want to be massively famous. Plus, he hates conforming and being told what to do. This role would force him to have to be something he is not."
If true, then signing up for the highly-anticipated trilogy is the last thing Hunnam should have done. Look at what happened to actors Daniel Radcliffe and Pattinson. Both the Harry Potter and Twilight series created a massive following, forcing the then-unknown actors into the spotlight. They quickly became two of Hollywood's most famous actors.
Whoever is chosen to replace Hunnam, we hope he is more fan-friendly -- and truly ready to fill Christian Grey's shoes.
WATCH: Hunnam Drops Out of "Fifty Shades of Grey"