Charlie Hunnam Turns down $125,000 for FIFTY SHADES OF GREY and Cites Creative Differences for His Departure

by     Posted 309 days ago

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Charlie Hunnam (Pacific Rim, Sons of Anarchy) was only attached to director Sam Taylor-Johnson’s adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey for about a month before suddenly dropping out.  At the time, the reason for his departure was blamed on scheduling difficulties and lack of time for proper preparation for the role.  Now, it looks as if Hunnam had substantial conflicts of interest with the film’s creative team, ones strong enough to turn down a $125,000 payday.  Hunnam also submitted his own script notes on the Kelly Marcel adaptation, which were well-received but led to further disagreements when Hunnam began grasping for further script control.  While scheduling issues were certainly part of the problem, they’re only going to get worse now as Universal Pictures and Focus Pictures are still in search of a male lead with a planned November 1st start date rapidly approaching.  Hit the jump for more.

THR has charlie-hunnam-fifty-shades-of-greyquite the extensive write-up on Hunnam’s departure from Fifty Shades of Grey and the behind-the-scenes turmoil that ensued.  While it’s important to note that Dakota Johnson (Ben and Kate) is still attached to play Anastasia Steele, the search is on for billionaire and S&M fetishist, Christian Grey.  Frontrunners for the role are Jamie Dornan (Once Upon a Time) and Christian Cooke (Magic City), with Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood) also in the mix.  Whoever lands the part will have to prove that they can handle the frenzied fandom surrounding the property, as Hunnam experienced a fan reaction so intense that he had to hire bodyguards and extra security for his Sons of Anarchy appearances, going so far as to cancel two of them.

In addition to the upswell in his popularity, Hunnam had creative differences with the team that led to his departure.  When he sought further script approval after submitting his notes, his request was denied. As Hunnam was mulling over his decision to decamp, Universal brought in screenwriter Patrick Marber (Notes on a Scandal) to do a polish, but to no avail.  Even though the role of Grey remains uncast and production may be delayed a week, the studio remains confident on its August 1, 2014 release date.




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  • Mixed Race rich kid NYC

    They were underpaying him
    Lol
    That’s nothing
    Was he getting some of the box office too ?

  • Heytherebro

    125 not for a day. but for the whole film. Fix please.

    • Bo

      125 grand for the lead role in a movie is peanuts and no actor worth his salt would even think of doing any lead role for that amount. Bad TV actors make at least that a week…the so-called star TV folks make much more than that. This is going to be a cheap, low brow movie and you can bet the actors hired will fit the mold.

  • http://www.collider.com/ DNAsplitter

    I love him in SOA and thought he was ok in Pacific Rim. But $125,000? That’s just insulting as he will have some of the craziest fans ever running after him for the next 5 years. Look at those poor twits from Twilight and Harry Potter. People are nuts but those women that are obsessed w those book are by far the craziest with their delusions. He did the right thing by leaving that shit fest as he would have damaged his carreer by doing the role in a film that will probably turn out to be craptacular.

    • Mother Joker

      In Pacific Rim, his character always thought about the past, and never thought about a romantic future until it was too late. His timing wasn’t very good.

  • Kevin

    What’s the difference between this and other romance novels?

    • Liderc

      This was Twilight fanfiction, so it had somewhat of an audience already in place.

      • Kevin

        oh ok

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  • matt

    $125K sounds awfully low for a role like this though its not surprising that Hunnam signed for a low guarantee upfront. Most actors who sign onto franchises (or movies that studios hope will become franchises) sign for a small guarantee’s upfront and then get options for bigger raises for the sequels. Jennifer Lawrence made $500,000 for the first Hunger Games film. She’ll make $10 million for the sequel.

    Props to Hunnam for having the courage to walk away. It takes guts to walk away from a project like this on such short notice and THR article even admits that his own team put pressure on him not to drop out, no doubt afraid of incurring the wrath of the new studio head. He’ll look like a genius when the thing bombs. I was always surprised that he took the role, it never seemed like something he would for based on his work. It was probably his team who persuaded him to sign on for the role in the first place, he probably didn’t understand what he was in for until after he agreed to do it.

    • The Flobbit

      I respect his extremely smart decision.

  • kim

    Probably for the best. He doesn’t want to get type cast as “that guy from 50 shades of grey”.. guys will avoid his other movies like they do Taylor Lautner

    • ya

      Well Taylor Lautner cant act either.

      • tonymatthews

        So, you’re saying Hunnam can’t act? Sorry, you’re wrong. His acting is great in SOA and was good in Pacific Rim.

    • ya

      Well Taylor Lautner cant act either.

  • Leyla

    Seriously, did they really offer him $125.000?!? I hope it’s a typo and it was $1.250.000. It’s a ridiculous sum to throw your career away, he did it right to run away!! This is beyond insulting, I don’t know how he agreed in the first place.

  • Nomis1700

    Shame, wanted to see his butt and weenie

  • Grayden

    I’m wondering if this will be as bad as ‘The Canyons’.

  • guest

    125,000 wow. Cheap fvcking bastards. He probably makes that every episode on SOA.

    • GrimReaper07

      I might be wrong, but 125,000 is a lot of money for an actor that isn’t that famous.

      • Seannie5

        He is pretty well known though. He has a popular show and has been in movies. 125k is a joke

      • Seannie5

        He is pretty well known though. He has a popular show and has been in movies. 125k is a joke

      • GrimReaper07

        I’m guessing the prospect of this movie jumping him to superstardom is what makes the studios be so cheap as far as this movie’s salary goes then. It’s part of the payment.

      • axalon

        Pattinson got $2 million and was a complete unknown outside of his role in Harry Potter

      • axalon

        Pattinson got $2 million and was a complete unknown outside of his role in Harry Potter

      • The Flobbit

        Charlie Hunnam acted in the biggest original blockbuster hit of the year and a major TV show. He’s famous.

      • GrimReaper07

        I loved Pacific Rim, but that movie on its own didn’t turn him into a star. He’s still “that guy from Pacific Rim” to many people. And he does have a hit TV show, but TV shows don’t tend to draw as big a crowd as movies. The main draws of Pacific Rim were also the robots and aliens and Idris Elba’s character too, whereas in an adaptation of “50 shades” HE would be the big draw.

        He’ll probably have a long and fruitful career, but I don’t know anyone personally who could recognize the guy right now. I said he’s famous, but not that famous so as to have Paramount give him immense amounts of money for a role that’ll give him so much notoriety (which in itself is a form of payment). Robert Pattinson was payed 2 million for Twilight. He was pretty much an unknown by that point, but those terrible movies made him a big star. Its almost the same case here.

      • The Flobbit

        “TV shows don’t tend to draw as big a crowd as movies.” Tell that to Benedict Cumberbatch. And also, the big draw to Pacific Rim for me was Guillermo del Toro getting back in the business.

        I would definitely notice Hunnam anywhere, and I know thousands of fans who would, too.

      • GrimReaper07

        Yeah, Guillermo was the main draw for me, I just generalizing. Also, Cumberbatch didn’t become a huge name until Star Trek. Whatever, lets just agree to disagree. I still believe Hunnam isn’t well known to the general public.

      • The Flobbit

        I was a major fan of Cumberbatch BEFORE Sherlock, actually.

      • GrimReaper07

        I was a fan as soon as I saw Sherlock, but that doesn’t mean he was well known, at least not in comparison to how he is now because of Star Trek, The Fifth Estate and The Hobbit.

      • milksteak

        who gives a shit?

      • The Flobbit

        You don’t, obviously.

  • bob

    Give this role to Charlie Sheen now

    • PANTS

      CHARLIE DAY.

  • bob

    Give this role to Charlie Sheen now

  • sizzle

    Put this shit into perspective. Farrah Abraham got a million to get blasted in the ass on film, but Universal can’t muster up any money to pay an Actor to star in an adaptation of one the most widely read novels in the last three years. Think of the business Magic Mike did…yes this movie will fucking CRUSH IT at the boxoffice. Someone needs to get REAL paid to take such a gamble on their career and for exposing themselves. That being said…I probably won’t watch it anyways.

  • The_Smirking_Revenge

    “Citing Creative Differences…”

    Translation – Someone finally informed Charlie what the Hell 50 Shades is and he realized it’d mean the end of his career if he actually made this Skinamax P.O.S.

    Good choice, Charlie.

  • The_Smirking_Revenge

    “Citing Creative Differences…”

    Translation – Someone finally informed Charlie what the Hell 50 Shades is and he realized it’d mean the end of his career if he actually made this Skinamax P.O.S.

    Good choice, Charlie.

  • The_Smirking_Revenge

    “Citing Creative Differences…”

    Translation – Someone finally informed Charlie what the Hell 50 Shades is and he realized it’d mean the end of his career if he actually made this Skinamax P.O.S.

    Good choice, Charlie.

  • Scurvy

    125,000 for potential career suicide appearing in mommy porn, I don’t blame him.

    I’m willing to bet whoever they get for the lead role, this will be their last lead for a long long time.

    • Rick

      If that’s the case, then Taylor Kitsch might as well sign on, just for the hell of it.

  • Strong Enough

    125k? nigga please

  • Redjester

    125k is all they offered him? Really? I was assuming, given the incessant spotlight over the film, that it would have been a cool 2 mil, easy.

  • The Flobbit

    Wow! 125 grand is NOTHING! I am shocked! That’s less than 1/5th of what the Big Bang cast pulls in from one episode. A paltry sum!

  • http://modmyi.com/forums/iphone-4-new-skins-themes-launches/740147-neurotech-hd.html#post5637502 Jay

    Well, hopefully his strategy pays off in the end. Usually when people are trying to make a name for themselves they’ll jump on any project because they don’t know when another job will come along. Hunnam must have confidence he can find another job soon.

  • bombinUSA

    i have no clue what this movie is about but the simple fact that the guy needed bodyguards because his name was merely associated with the film at an extremely preliminary stage just shows how the movie will NOT bomb…these idiots that go crazy over crap like twilight come out in huge numbers and will watch the movies several times which pretty much guarantee that they will be smash hits. as for the money? yah a total joke. how much did that untalented oaf charlie sheen make off that garbage two and half men show? god, the majority of the population are idiots that tune into these crappy movies and shows. its down right pathetic how the finale of breaking bad barely broke 10 million while garbage like americas got talent or one of those other 30 singing shows gets 20 million viewers…yah off on a total tangent, but the point is Quality is hardly ever rewarded in film and tv and it pisses me off.

  • pinkincide

    He probably makes that every SoA episode.

  • AussiAussi

    Alexander please
    I agree… shitty wages?!!

  • Hosebeast

    Yeah, just chiming in here to say that $125,000 must have been a typo or bad reporting. I’m pretty sure the dude wouldn’t even consider the role for that amount unless he literally wasn’t paid for his previous roles and has been donating his time as an actor… That is straight up insanity. Glad to see this society-devolving property get properly ass slapped. Good on you, Charlie Hunnam. Driving a nail into the heart of 50 Shades… has completely redeemed you for appearing in the worst GdT flick yet.

    • The Flobbit

      Talking about the worst GdT flick is like talking about the worst piece of music Beethoven ever wrote, or Shakespeare’s worst play: it’s still better than everyone else’s.

  • kilar

    This is bullshit. He’s no Deniro or nothing, but no actor would take that chump change, especially for a crap film like 50 shades.

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