It was going rather well for the Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson and her team: after what seemed like ages they'd managed to pull off a great casting decision, choosing two actors on the cusp of big-time fame. However, they were not only hit by a 90k strong petition telling them their choice was wrong; they had to say goodbye to Charlie Hunnam, AKA Christian Grey, and learn their Anastasia Steele, Dakota Johnson, had a touch of the heebie jeebies too.

Dakota Johnson
Dakota Johnson Could Be Thinking Of Leaving '50 Shades.'

Sons of Anarchy star Hunnam's exit was confirmed earlier this week due to an "immersive TV schedule" that would prevent the actor from being able to fully prepare for the role of Christian Grey. The film took a hit, author EL James sent her best, and fans began to wonder whether Hunnam had secretly been influenced by the petition launched to replace him and Johnson with Matt Bomer and Alexis Bledel.

"He hates conforming and being told what to do. This role would force him to have to be something he's not," said a source speaking to E!, feeding the fires of suspicion. "He didn't want the Robert Pattinson-esque attention that would come along with taking on this role," reports People.

Charlie Hunnam
Charlie Hunnam Walks Away From The Movie.

Now the rumour has emerged that Dakota might be thinking of jumping ship too, due to struggling with the role. "Dakota is having a very hard time dealing with all the press," said E! News' source. "When she first got the role, it was way too much for her." Though Johnson's rep has apparently declined to comment, this kind of rumour is the last thing the movie needs now, particularly if there's any shred of truth in it.

Dakota Johnson Chair Dress
There Are Rumours That Dakota Is Struggling With Her Role.

The movie will adapt EL James' erotic trilogy about a billionaire businessman and a student. The books caused waves in the literary world upon their release around last year, with millions of copies sold. However, the novels are often derided as poorly written "mommy porn" with many suggesting the movies will be no different. Sam Taylor-Johnson, the respected British director of Nowhere Boy, was appointed to hopefully steer the film towards critical appreciation and lend some integrity to the guaranteed numerous sex scenes.

Sam Taylor-Johnson
Can Sam Taylor-Johnson Pull It Out Of The Bag?

Any cast exits will be a sure blow to the movie, but the jitters so close to filming have left fans wondering who will step in to replace Hunnam. Needless to say, Matt Bomer is the current favourite, with odds of 6/1 followed by a lengthy but largely improbable list of actors that includes Cillian Murphy, Brad Pitt, Ian Somerhalder, Robert Pattinson, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey and Ryan Gosling.

Fifty Shades of Grey is expected on release in August 2014...if they manage to make it that far.