Charlie Hunnam Drops Out of 'Fifty Shades'

Getty Images

Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam will no longer play the role of Christian Grey in the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey

A statement released by the studios producing the movie says that Hunnam's busy TV schedule made it impossible for him to sufficiently prepare for the role.

RELATED PICS: Fifty Shades of Grey Dream Casting

"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," said the statement released by Universal Pictures and Focus Features.

Hunnam's choice for the movie proved to be controversial when thousands of fans signed a petition demanding that his role as Christian Grey be re-cast with Matt Bomer and that his chosen leading lady, Dakota Johnson, be replaced with Alexis Bledel.

RELATED: Matt Bomer Responds to Fifty Shades Petition

The erotic book's author, E.L. James tweeted about the news, writing:

Who do you think they should cast as Christian Grey?