Dakota Johnson & Charlie Hunnam (credit: Getty Images)

Dakota Johnson & Charlie Hunnam (credit: Getty Images)

(CBS SF/AP) -Charlie Hunnam is dropping out of the highly anticipated big-screen version of “Fifty Shades of Grey” just weeks after being cast as the lead, citing his busy schedule. The 33-year-old Hunnam said last month he initially turned down the role because of timing issues.

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Universal announced Saturday that the actor who was to play Christian Grey will depart the project. The studio called it a mutual decision because Hunnam’s preparation time was limited by his television schedule. He stars in the series “Sons of Anarchy.”

It’s an abrupt and embarrassing switch for a high-profile film. Fans of E.L. James’ erotic best-seller are eagerly awaiting the movie adaptation, which will be directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson. Dakota Johnson remains in the co-starring role of Anastasia Steele.

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Author E. L. James (credit: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

Author E. L. James (credit: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

Hunnam’s replacement is being sought. Could names like Robert Pattinson, Ryan Gosling, and CW stars Stephen Amell of “Arrow” and Ian Somerhalder of “The Vampire Diaries” be back in the running for the coveted role? Only time will tell.

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(L-R) Ian Somerhalder, Charlie Hunnam & Stephen Amell (credit: Getty Images)


 
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