We spend probably too much time focusing on a movie that everyone already dislikes before it’s even started filming, but whatever: It’s fascinating to see the PR machine in motion, and it provides some shallow insight into the industry.
Indeed, I doubt anyone actually thought that Charlie Hunnam’s public excuse for leaving 50 Shades of Grey — that it conflicted with the Sons of Anarchy schedule — was genuine. After all, Sons of Anarchy wraps up this month, while 50 Shades begins filming next month. The excuse was specious, though we were all too happy to accept it because some of us like Hunnam (and his backside) enough to suffer through 50 Shades on his behalf. Now we dont’ have to. A $125,000 paycheck for this much public scrutiny simply wasn’t worth it, especially after the studio denied his script changes, likely assuring that the film will be as hackey as the novel.
Hunnam, however, is shifting gears, relying on the old stand-by: Family. This, from E!, which caught up with Hunnam and badgered him at a charity event.
“I have had some family stuff going on so just trying to stay focused and stay positive and keep trying to do a good job at work and be with my family and stay positive … Like I said, I’ve got some family stuff I have to tend to. So when I wrap the show, I am going to go to England and see my people and then I have a film that I am doing with Guillermo [del Toro]. So I am going to go and do that and concentrate on the final seasons of Sons.”
Is it telling that he said that he wanted “stay positive” twice (suggesting that 50 Shades is not a positive move), or is he just trying to head off the negative reaction?
To be fair, Hunnam’s father did pass away in May, and I’m sure that he’d like to spend some time with his people before starting production on Crimson Peak, a much better project for Hunnam to be a part of. It’s about a young author Edith Cushing, who discovers that her charming new husband is not who he appears to be, and it stars Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, Burn Gorman, and Jim Beaver. That is a terrific cast.