Another personnel change is in the works for the planned Freddie Mercury biopic as producers seek a replacement for director Dexter Fletcher. A representative for Fletcher confirmed to Rolling Stone that the filmmaker has parted ways with the production.
This is the second major shake-up for the film about the Queen frontman, who died in 1991. The biopic was originally set to star Sacha Baron Cohen, who signed on to play Mercury in 2010, but the actor dropped out of the project last summer. Queen guitarist Brian May later explained that the band’s surviving members came to realize that Baron Cohen’s distinctive presence would be too much of a distraction in the film. Skyfall actor Ben Whishaw is now in place for the lead role.
As for Fletcher, Variety reports that he and producer Graham King parted ways over “creative differences.” “Sources say they were some back and forth not just with King and Fletcher but Whishaw who also wanted changes made to the script and that these changes were taking too long to fix and eventually led to King letting Fletcher go,” the publication said.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Brian May said that the script “depicts Freddie in a very lifelike way, but in the context of Queen, which was a kind of family. So it’s about what happens in families, in a sense, and I think people will find it very touching.”
Shooting for the biopic is currently scheduled to begin this summer.