Freddie Mercury biopic parts ways with director Dexter Fletcher

Fletcher follows Sacha Baron Cohen to quit over reported 'creative differences'

Jess Denham
Friday 14 March 2014 12:28
Dexter Fletcher quit the Freddie Mercury biopic over reported 'creative differences' with producers
Dexter Fletcher quit the Freddie Mercury biopic over reported 'creative differences' with producers

It has been a project plagued with problems and now, the British director of planned Freddie Mercury biopic has left.

Dexter Fletcher (Sunshine on Leith, Wild Bill) chose to leave the as-yet-untitled movie after "creative differences" with GK Films producer Graham King, Deadline reports.

Last year, the film ran into trouble when The Dictator actor Sacha Baron Cohen exited before shooting in the role of Queen’s late frontman.

Speculation suggested that Cohen had also departed due to a clash over the film's tone, but Queen guitarist Brian May dismissed these rumours, calling them "sensationalist".

"The last three movies Cohen made, he makes outstanding performances, but they're very much Sacha Baron Cohen performances," May told Ultimate Guitar.

"We thought there has to be no distraction in the Freddie movie. You have to really suspend that disbelief - the man who plays Freddie, you have to really believe is Freddie. We didn't think that could really happen with Sacha.

"That's not any criticism of his talent whatsoever, it's just a feeling that it was not going to work. We parted company on very good terms."

Filming for Mercury is scheduled to begin in the summer, as Cohen's replacement Ben Whishaw will be needed on the set of Bond 24 shortly afterwards.

A new director is yet to be found for the film, which will tell the rock band's story (songs included) and end with their triumphant Live Aid 1985 performance, rather than Mercury's death from Aids in 1991.

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Past directors to be mentioned in regards to the film include Tom Hooper, Stephen Frears and David Fincher. Peter Morgan (The Queen) has penned the script, with Queen, Robert De Niro, Tim Headington and Jane Rosenthal also producing.

Songs included in the rights package include "We Will Rock You", "You're My Best Friend", "Another One Bites the Dust" and Queen’s classic hit "Bohemian Rhapsody".

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