Producers left reeling after Charlie Hunnam's surprise departure from the "Fifty Shades of Grey" film have settled on a short list of actors to play the lead role of Christian Grey, and rumor has it British TV star Jamie Dornan is the favorite.
The project appeared to be a go after it was announced last month that "Son of Anarchy's" Hunnam and Dakota Johnson, last seen on the Fox sitcom "Ben and Kate," would star as the leads in the film version of the popular X-rated book series.
But Hunnam, who never seemed like his heart was fully in it, dropped out over the weekend, citing his hectic TV schedule.
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"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 young billionaire Christian Grey," Universal Pictures said in a statement.
Scrambling to meet a Nov. 1 production start date, the "Fifty Shades" creative team has been tossing around names of actors that could play Grey, the troubled yet successful billionaire entrepreneur who embarks on a sadomasochistic relationship with an innocent college student.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Dornan, 31, is the favorite
. The former male model — once dubbed "the male Kate Moss" — and singer currently stars on the British TV show "The Fall." He also appeared on season one of ABC's fairy-tale drama "Once Upon a Time" as Sheriff Graham.
Producers contacted Dornan about the role even before Hunnam officially dropped out, according to the Reporter. Sources say that Dornan's wife, Amelia Warner, is pregnant, which could affect his decision to commit to "Fifty Shades."
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