TODAY   |  October 14, 2013

Who should replace Charlie Hunnam in ’Fifty Shades?’

With actor Charlie Hunnam having backed out playing Christian Grey in the upcoming film version of erotica best-seller “50 Shades of Grey,” fans are speculating which Hollywood hunk the role  should go to. Suggestions from TODAY viewers include Clint Eastwood’s son Scott, “Days of Our Lives” actor James Scott and even TODAY’s own Al Roker.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> war room. we're going to find the new christian grey. some fans of the racy group were underwe underwell med by hunnam's casting.

>> reporter: when some fans learned that charlie hunnam was cast in 50 shades of grey, they started a change.org petition to get a new christian grey. the star dropped out of the movie, just a few weeks before filming is scheduled to start. universal pictures said hunnam's tv schedule does not allow him to adequately prepare for the role of christian grey but some hollywood insiders say there's more to the story. matthew belloni said he got cold feet on movie. tv schedule is said to have nothing to do with his exit.

>> he had a lot of unwanted attention. universal had to hire a body guard for him and it's quite possible that he looked at that and thought i don't want to do this.

>> reporter: with shooting underway in a few weeks, producers are scrambling to tie down a new leading man.

>> you have to assume the producers are looking back at all their second choices and third choices but it doesn't seem from what i heard that there's a clear replacement in line for hunnam.

>> reporter: fan favorites, ian somerhalder and matt bomer.

>> saturday night live had picks.

>> steve harvey .

>> script don't make no sense, player.

>> he might be good. christian bale , bradley cooper , james franco here. he's coming up on the next hour on the show. but we went to the facebook page and asked you the viewer what is you thought. scott eastwood leading the way. and james scott from days of our lives . those are our two leading vote getters but from was another write in candidate that got a lot of votes. are you ready for this?

>> hey, now.

>> that's not a gag. that's not a joke. we got a lot of likes for mr. al roker as the next christian grey.

>> al is not here. i wish he was.

>> audition day.

>> correct. thank you. thanks for catching my drift.

>> i'm not intimately familiar with the book.

>> sure, you're not. go ahead.

>> i'm holding my tongue so much.

>> but isn't the male lead -- shouldn't this be an older person? an older man?

>> no, like in his 30s. early 30s. she's like 20 -- she is just out of college.

>> you read three of them. you read the trilogy. i'm an expert when it comes to 50 shades of grey. you don't make the cut.