13 OCTOBER 2013
British actor Charlie Hunnam will no longer star in the cinematic version of the best-selling novel Fifty Shades Of Grey.
After being cast just weeks ago as the film's leading man Christian Grey, Charlie has announced that his busy schedule means that he has had to drop out of the highly anticipated movie.
"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 Universal.
Charlie, 33, who appears in US series Sons of Anarchy, was due to star alongside Dakota Johnson in the film which will be directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson.
Fifty Shades' author E L James announced that the pair had been cast on Twitter.
"I am delighted to let you know that the lovely Dakota Johnson has agreed to be our Anastasia in the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey," wrote the author, whose first name is Erika.
"So... Christian...", she added. "The gorgeous and talented Charlie Hunnam will be Christian Grey."
Dakota Johnson will star as Anastasia
Newcastle-born Charlie rose to fame after appearing in popular North East TV series, Byker Grove.
He went on to appear in the thriller Sons Of Anarchy as Jackson 'Jax' Teller, and most recently starred in Guillermo del Toro's robot epic Pacific Rim.
In 1999, when he was 20, Charlie met actress Katharine Towne at an audition for Dawson's Creek and within four weeks they had eloped to Las Vegas and embarked on a marriage that lasted for four years.
His ex-wife is the daughter of one of Tinseltown's premiere screenwriters Robert Towne.
"Her father is like Hollywood royalty, so I have to admit that it did get me noticed," he said of the relationship.