HBO confirmed the actor's exit, and that they are re-casting the role of James for Season 7, in a brief statement.
"The role of James is being recast due to the creative direction of the character."
The actor joined the cast in Season 6 as the soulful vampire James, the new love interest of Deborah Ann Woll's Jessica. There was speculation that his role in Universal Pictures' Fifty Shades of Grey had something to do with his departure, but an unidentified source close to the actor reveals he asked to be let out of his contract after reading the first scripts for the season.
"He initially joined the show because he wanted to work with [his Forever co-star] Deborah Ann Woll. But when he started reading the scripts for Season 7, he was disappointed to learn that they were going in a completely different direction with James."
With production slated to begin in January, ahead of a June 2014 debut, HBO will likely have to move fast to find a replacement. We'll keep you posted as soon as the network finds their new James.