In yet another unexpected plot twist for the potentially doomed Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, actor, director and Guy Ritchie favourite Dexter Fletcher has jumped on board to take over from beleaguered director Bryan Singer.
Fletcher, whose directorial work includes the musical Sunshine on Leith and last year’s Eddie the Eagle, will direct the remaining two weeks of shooting and orchestrate the film’s post-production work, which may involve further reshoots.
The director was previously attached to the project in 2014, going so far as to casting Ben Whishaw to play Freddie Mercury. But he dropped out soon after, with reports claiming he “did not see eye to eye” with producer Graham King. King is still producing the project.
Fletcher has been roped in following the firing of Singer, who was declared “unexpectedly unavailable” by studio Twentieth Century Fox.
A Hollywood Reporter article reported that Singer had gone missing from the set following weeks of difficulties, including clashes with star Rami Malek, who plays Freddie Mercury in the film, and the actor Tom Hollander, who at one point walked off the set in protest.
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Singer later claimed in a statement that Fox had refused to permit him time off from the film to take care of a “gravely ill parent.”
“Unfortunately, the studio was unwilling to accommodate me and terminated my services,” Singer wrote. “This was not my decision and it was beyond my control.”
According to Deadline, Fox had been canvassing for a replacement director long before Singer vanished from the set. While Fox has denied the claim, sources told the industry site that “the film didn’t appeal to everyone” and that Fletcher has been handed a project that needs “a lot of work”.
They also reported that it is unknown whether Fletcher will be credited on the finished film, or whether Singer will retain director credit.