The production team behind the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey is on the hunt for a new male lead.
Charlie Hunnam of Sons of Anarchy fame has dropped out of the movie. He was set to play billionaire Christian 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.
Universal and Focus features are in a race against the clock to find a new Christian Grey. Production on the adaptation of E.L James' international bestseller is supposed to start at the end of the month.
The Sam Taylor-Johnson-directed film is expected to hit theatres next August.
Dakota Johnson will play Anastasia Steele.
The 23-year-old is a relatively unknown actress who has had small roles in The Social Network and 21 Jump Street, and this year's short-lived sitcom Ben and Kate.
(with files from the Associated Press)