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'Fifty Shades of Grey' Start Date Pushed to Dec. 2 (Exclusive)

Jamie Dornan Dakota Johnson Split 3 - H 2013
Getty Images; Evan Agostini/Getty Images
Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan

Jamie Dornan has been cast to star as Christian Grey after Charlie Hunnam's abrupt exit.

Due to the last-minute scramble to replace the lead role, Fifty Shades of Grey's production start date has been pushed about a month.

The production, which was scheduled to begin shooting in early November, will now begin filming on Dec. 2, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The delay raises the question of whether or not the film can be ready in less than eight months to meet its current release date of Aug. 1, 2014. If not, the film would likely be jettisoned out of the summer frame.

PHOTOS: Stars Misaligned: Charlie Hunnam Quits 'Fifty Shades' and 15 Other Casting Near-Misses 

Sam Taylor-Johnson is directing from a screenplay by Kelly Marcel. Dakota Johnson is starring as Anastasia Steele, while Jamie Dornan was recently announced as the new Christian Grey.

Dornan was cast in the role after the original choice, Charlie Hunnam, abruptly dropped out a few weeks ago, claiming that his Sons of Anarchy schedule was stopping him from focusing on preparing for the role in the adaptation of EL James' racy novel. This forced the producers to scramble to find a new star in hopes of keeping on track for the August 2014 release.

STORY: 'Fifty Shades': EL James Welcomes Jamie Dornan to Cast

Dornan tested Friday, Oct. 18, opposite female lead Johnson for director Taylor-Johnson, author James and producers Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti.

On Friday, it was announced that True Blood actor Luke Grimes will play Elliot Grey, the brother to Christian Grey.

E-mail: Rebecca.Ford@THR.com
Twitter: @Beccamford

E-mail: Tatiana.Siegel@THR.com
Twitter: @TatianaSiegel27