Dexter Fletcher is taking over as director of the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. Legendary rock band Queen is getting the big screen treatment with the focus on frontman Freddie Mercury. The project had long been in development but officially got off the ground this summer as Bryan Singer was announced to direct and Mr. Robot star Rami Malek slated to play the leading role. Interest in the biopic only grew when the first look image of Malek in character showed he is a spitting image of the lead vocalist.
Production began earlier this fall and set videos offered a glimpse at what the biopic could hold. From there on out, updates on the movie went quiet, but the last few days have turned the project upside down. Singer was fired as director after not reporting to set, and left the film in need of a replacement.
Deadline shared 20th Century Fox’s announcement today that Eddie the Eagle director Dexter Fletcher is now taking over. Fletcher will begin filming next week and there are reportedly only two more weeks of filming scheduled before production wraps. He will go on to stay with the movie throughout post-production, but it appears the final product of Bohemian Rhapsody will largely use footage Singer shot.
There has been plenty of drama surrounding the biopic over the last few days, so it’s nice to get some good news at this point. Fletcher is more than capable as a director, as Eddie the Eagle was a hit amongst critics last year. He’s also attached to do an Elton John biopic with his Eddie the Eagle star Taron Egerton, so this could be a decent rehearsal for him. He’ll have to put any work on that film on hold until Bohemian Rhapsody is complete, as the studio is still hopeful it can hit its current December 2018 release.
Fletcher is only the latest director to step in and take over big projects this year following a creative shakeup. This won’t be a scenario like Ron Howard had with Solo: A Star Wars Story where they are reshooting a majority of the film. Instead, his work on Bohemian Rhapsody could fall closer to what Joss Whedon did on Justice League. Fletcher’s work shouldn’t involve heavy reshoots like Whedon’s did, but he’ll simply fill the void left by Singer’s absence. Thanks to the amount of the movie Singer shot, he could still wind up being credited as the sole director on the project, so it will be interesting to see how Fletcher’s work is acknowledged later on. But for now, its just reassuring that Singer’s replacement was chosen so quickly.