Los Angeles: Actor Charlie Hunnam has dropped out of the big screen adaptation of E L James`s bestselling erotic novel, `Fifty Shades of Grey, just weeks after being cast in the role of Christian Grey.
The 33-year-old actor, who had been chosen to play the billionaire in the much-awaited adaptation, backed out of the movie due to scheduling conflicts, said the Hollywood Reporter.
"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` adaptation, is directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson. Actress Dakota Johnson, would be playing Grey`s love interest, Anastasia Steele.
`Sons of Anarchy` star`s TV production was to reportedly end on October 21 and the movie production was set to start in November.
Another reason cited for Hunnam`s exit is the hype created around the casting.
"He was overwhelmed with the attention he received from being cast in the movie and got cold feet about carrying such a high-profile project," a source said.
"Universal was forced to hire bodyguards for the actor at a recent `Sons of Anarchy` premiere, where questions about Fifty Shades dominated the red carpet," the source added.