Charlie Hunnam dropped out of Fifty Shades Of Grey just in time for Thanksgiving. The “official” reason according to the studio:

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,"

Bullsh-t, right?

No one is believing this explanation, not even the reporters from outlets that have to be nice to the studios. Because the managing of his workload and those kinds of details would have been sorted out at the time he accepted the deal. And also…what preparation?

Make sure your ass looks good when you take off your pants and figure out how to f-ck convincingly on camera – we`re not expecting Chiwetel Ejiofor here in 12 Years A Slave, how hard could it be, no pun intended?

The Hollywood Reporter suggests that the real reason Charlie bailed is because he couldn’t handle the pressure:

“Two sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Hunnam, 33, was overwhelmed with the attention he received from being cast in the movie and got cold feet about carrying such a high-profile project. 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 sources caution that Hunnam had no reservations about the role of Christian Grey, just the media and fan frenzy that came along with it, especially as he was transitioning from Sons to Fifty Shades so quickly.”

So was he afraid of the Twi-Hards?

Was he nervous about the horny housewives and how they would suffocate the rest of his career?

These are legitimate concerns. Look what Robert Pattinson has to deal with.

It’s worth noting though that THR’s “sources” have to be coming from Universal, the studio behind the film. Because they made a point of stressing that Hunnam’s personal anxiety was the problem and not the project itself which is their way of trying to convince people that the project isn’t sh-t. You know how it works in this business though. If you’re telling me that’s NOT the reason, I’m more inclined to think it IS the reason.

What if it was less about Hunnam’s personal anxiety than it was about his instincts about the quality of the film franchise that would have dominated his professional life for the next 3-5 years, minimum?

They keep trying to sell Christian Grey as the “most coveted role” in Hollywood. And all we’ve had so far is a series of B to C list actors campaigning for it. As I noted in my initial post when Hunnam was cast, “if, for example, Hunnam had beaten out a Jake Gyllenhaal or a Ryan Gosling to win the role, there could be some swagger here, no doubt. But this is a game the A List didn’t want to play. Instead then, Hunnam was playing pick-up with lower-tier tv regulars like Ian Somerhalder and Joe Manganiello. It’s not exactly knocking out Muhammad Ali”.

Like George Clooney and Batman, Hunnam said yes to the wrong role for the wrong reason: he wanted to be a Movie Star. The difference here is that Hunnam had the balls to back away from a project that obviously didn’t smell quite right to him. So perhaps it’s not that he didn’t have the balls to face the expectations but that he had enough of them to be able to say, yeah, I need to walk out of this sh-t and wait for something better. Is that integrity?

Whatever you want to call it, they have to keep looking now. And, really, who’s left?

You know who’s left?

Justin Timberlake.