Charlie Hunnam quitting Fifty Shades of Grey was "disappointing," author E.L. James says, and she says she worries the final product will be as well.
It's not that she doesn't have faith in the film's producers, it's just that she had reservations about turning her trilogy into a movie series to begin with.
"I didn't know if it was the right thing ... but then I thought, ‘I'm middle-aged; when in the hell am I going to get another chance to make a movie in Hollywood?'"
Imagine how the best-selling novelist felt when leading man Charlie Hunnam backed out of the project just weeks before production was set to begin.
"It was disappointing, but it is what it is," James tells EW. "I wish him well."
When Hunnam and Dakota Johnson were cast, James had a feeling fans would be divided over the actors hired to play Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.
"It was very mixed and I had to get off Twitter," she recalls. "People hate change. I thought there would be a few people upset, regardless of whom we had chosen."
"It was intense, but people came around to it."
Jamie Dornan was eventually hired to replace Hunnam, and James says the response has been "so positive." At least more so than with Charlie.
"It was so lovely that people didn't know who he was," she says of the Northern Irish actor, who's currently expecting his first child. "I loved that."
The Fifty Shades of Grey movie will shoot in Vancouver and be released on February 13, 2015, instead of the previously planned August 1, 2014.