Although Fifty Shades of Grey enjoyed a lot of monetary success in the box office, there was plenty of controversy brewing behind the scenes, including Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam dropping out of playing Christian Grey. Along with director Sam Taylor-Johnson’s disputes with author E.L. James, Kelly Marcel, a screenwriter for the movie, recently came out and discussed her own set of issues with the first film, according the the Telegraph.
In a recent podcast with Bret Easton Ellis, Marcel stated that the relationship between her and James was initially very good. “Erica and I immediately got on with each other. I really love Erica and she and I had the same sense of humor and we felt the same things about the books,” Marcel explained.
However, things changed after Marcel wrote the first draft of her screenplay, which differed from the book. “I didn’t want the story to be linear,” she stated. “I wanted it to begin at the end of the film, and for us to meet in the middle.”
With her first draft being rejected, Marcel was forced to re-write the screenplay to James’ approval. “Ultimately, Erica did have all of the control and there wasn’t ever a point where the producers could step in and said ‘no, no, we’re going with the first draft,’ ” she related.
Marcel further revealed that Charlie Hunnam’s decision to drop out of the role as Christian Grey was due to issues he had with the script. According to Marcel, Hunnam left after his suggestions for changes in the script were rejected by James.
“He said he was so sad to leave the project because he had really, really bonded with Sam, and really liked Sam a lot.”
For his part, Charlie Hunnam remained pretty quiet about why he dropped out of the future blockbuster. He simply blamed it on a scheduling conflict in an interview with Men’s Health.
“I was going to finish playing a psychopath who’d just lost his wife [in Sons], and five days later I’d be on set playing Christian Grey… I was like, ‘This is going to be a f***ing disaster.’ It was the opposite of how I’ve tried to ground my career, not stretch myself too thin, and always do my homework.”
His Sons of Anarchy boss, though, seems to agree with Marcel. Kurt Sutter told Deadline that the actor was merely unhappy with the film’s script. “I had conversations with Charlie, when he was offered that role,” he said. “I think he was promised a certain level of … not collaboration, but excellence with the script. And that never materialized. That’s why he ultimately stepped away.”
Despite the success of Fifty Shades of Grey, both Marcel and Taylor-Johnson have decided not to be involved in any additional sequels. Charlie Hunnam has found roles in the upcoming blockbusters Crimson Peak, Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur, and Pacific Rim 2.
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