“Easy come, easy go.”
Fox has tapped Dexter Fletcher to take over the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody after firing X-Men director Bryan Singer from the project.
Singer was fired from the set on Monday, Dec. 4. The studio was fed up with his unexplained absences, forcing cinematographer Thomas Newton Sigel to step in as the director more often than not. Lead star Rami Malek had also complained about Singer’s lack of professionalism, according to Variety.
A source also tells Variety that Tom Hollander, who was set to play manager Jim Beach, left the film to due Singer’s behavior. Singer later persuaded the actor to return.
Singer, however, accused Fox of not letting him have time off the project to deal with health issues for one of his parents. “I wanted nothing more than to be able to finish this project and help honor the legacy of Freddie Mercury and Queen,” Singer said in a statement via The Hollywood Reporter, “but Fox would not permit me to do so because I needed to temporarily put my health, and the health of my loved ones, first.”
With Bryan Singer gone, Fletcher has now stepped in. Fletcher only has a few directing credits to his name — Wild Bill (2011), Sunshine on Leith (2013) and Eddie the Eagle (2016) — but he’s also an established actor who’s been working since 1976. Fletcher has appeared in such films as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), Kick-Ass (2010) and Stardust (2007).
Production on Bohemian Rhapsody will resume next week in London.
Malek (Mr. Robot) is starring as Mercury in the film, who’s said to be doing some of his own singing along with using Mercury’s real voice. Lucy Boynton (Sing Street), Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones), Mike Myers (Austin Powers) and Joseph Mazzello (Jurassic Park) will co-star.
The change of directors doesn’t seem to be changing the release date, as Bohemian Rhapsody is still set to be released on Dec. 25, 2018.