Universal Pictures confirmed to CNN Entertainment on Saturday that Hunnam's schedule is too full to accommodate him taking on the film.
"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," they said in a statement today.
Hunnam currently plays the role of Jax Teller on the FX series "Sons of Anarchy."
Many fans were outraged with the casting choice, and 45,000 of them actually signed a petition against him playing the role. But considering he only formally accepted the role in September of this year (E.J. James reported the news when it broke via her Twitter account), it's a quick change. James was positive about the decision on her Twitter account just as she was when Hunnam took the role.
I wish Charlie all the best. x
— E L James (@E_L_James) October 12, 2013
Other top actors that fans have considered include Alexander Skarsgard, Chris Hemsworth, Matt Bomer and Ian Somerhalder.
Regardless of who helms the lead role, one thing's for sure: Whenever this film hits theaters, sex toy sales are sure to spike all over again. Naughty, indeed.
Entertainment Tonight: Hollywood's sexiest shirtless men