Charlie Hunnam reportedly rejected the Christian Grey role to avoid Robert Pattinson’s fate.
The 33-year-old Sons of Anarchy star sparked a storm of controversy after agreeing to take on the role of protagonist Christian Grey in the big screen adaptation of E. L. James’ bestselling erotic novel.
The actor backed out due to scheduling conflicts, according to studio bosses. But a source tells America’s People magazine the rugged heartthrob was also concerned about his image.
"He dropped out of the project because he didn't want to be typecast," a source said. "He didn't want the Robert Pattinson-esque attention that would come along with taking on this role."
Robert, 27, famously played vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight Saga films, garnering intense attention from die-hard fans, many of them squealing teens, in the process.
Executives at Universal and Focus Features are now working to recast Charlie’s character after his schedule on US TV drama Sons became an issue.
"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 their statement.
On the same day the announcement was made, Charlie was spotted serving as the best man at a friend’s wedding.
An eyewitness at the event said the actor "seemed in really good spirits and spent time with his closest friends and his girlfriend”.
Fifty Shades of Grey the movie is tentatively scheduled for release next summer.
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