As soon as Charlie Hunnam announced his departure from the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey movie, the internet began to buzz with rumours about why the actor had decided to call it quits and who would replace him in the lead role of kinky billionaire, Christian Grey.

Charlie Hunnam
Charlie Hunnam Quits '50 Shades' Due To His Busy Schedule.

The movie will adapt author EL James hugely successful erotic fiction trilogy with Hunnam originally signed up for the role of Grey, whilst The Social Network star Dakota Johnson has been cast as Anastasia Steele. The Sons of Anarchy star reportedly dropped out of the movie, expected in August 2014, due to his already "immersive TV schedule," according to a statement from the studios behind the film, as reported by Entertainment Weekly.

Dakota Johnson
Dakota Johnson Will Play Ana Steele.

The statement reads "The filmmakers of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY and Charlie Hunnam have agreed to find another male lead given Hunnam's immersive TV schedule which is not allowing him time to adequately prepare for the role of Christian Grey." Author James responded to the latest news via Twitter, writing "I wish Charlie all the best. x,"

Naturally, upon the news, all eyes turned to Magic Mike star Matt Bomer who was the actor named in the petition launched by fans to have Hunnam replaced when the castings were first announced in September. Managing to garner north of 87,000 signatures, the petition could have some clout when it comes to the film's casting team redistributing the role.

Matt Bomer
Matt Bomer Is The Favourite Of Nearly 90,000 Fans.

Although Bomer has not issued a statement since Hunnam's departure, he did not express any particular interest in the role when interviewed after the petition was initiated. He said at the time: "I'm so grateful for the fans and touched. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie with Charlie and Dakota." Furthermore, critics are saying that Bomer's homosexuality may not make him the ideal choice for the part, despite his clear acting ability. Nevertheless, bookies are currently favouring Bomer, with odds of 6/1, to replace Hunnam in the most talked about role of the year.

Aside from Bomer, Peaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy is close behind with odds of 7/1. However, the Irish actor is known to only choose serious movies and would dislike the intense media scrutiny that a 50 Shades role would bring.

Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy Is A Favourite, But Unlikely To Take The Role.

The Vampire Diaries' Ian Somerhalder is third favourite, at 8/1, after the 34 year-old actor put himself forward for the role only to be dismissed as a possibility by EL James herself. "It could be very, very amazing. I have the book," said Somerhalder to Ryan Seacrest back in April. "That would be a pretty incredible thing, and hopefully that could pan out... Beyond the shadow of a doubt, I think that would be a phenomenal opportunity!"

Ian Somerhalder
Ian Somerhalder Has Previously Expressed His Interest For The '50 Shades' Role.

Could Somerhalder have been overlooked? Meanwhile, Bomer's fellow Magic Mike stars Alex Pettyfer and Matthew McConaughey are also listed, along with Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt and Robert Pattinson. A prominent name that has been left off Ladbrokes' betting list is Garrett Hedlund; the actor who was hand-picked for the role by James herself yet turned it down because it was "too big a commitment."

Although Dakota Johnson also faced a backlash from fans who called for the star to be replaced by Alexis Bledel, Johnson seems to be still in the movie and excited for what could be a great movie, if only they get the cast niggles sorted!