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Variety reports that athlete-turned-model-turned-actor Dornan, who recently screen tested for the role, was cast to replace Hunnam, who bowed out of the movie due to scheduling conflicts -- although, speculation and various reports of the "Sons of Anarchy" actor being overwhelmed, unprepared to take on the sexually explicit role, or unhappy with the script soon followed. And a post-"Fifty Shades" interview with actor proved vague and fruitless in terms of getting the real story behind his exit.
Universal and Focus Features, the studios behind "Fifty Shades," did not confirm the casting.
Dornan, pictured above with wife Amelia Warner, joins Dakota Johnson, who is still on tap to play Anastasia Steele, with Sam Taylor-Johnson set to direct. Production on "Fifty Shades of Grey" will begin in the coming weeks.
You can catch the sex-ventures of Christian and Anastasia when "Fifty Shades" hits theaters August 1, 2014.