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Queen Biopic 'Bohemian Rhapsody' Taps Dexter Fletcher As New Director

By Adrian Fuentes | Dec 07, 2017 07:40 AM EST
With Bryan Singer out, 20th Century Fox has tapped filmmaker Dexter Fletcher to direct "Bohemian Rhapsody," a biopic about Queen out Dec. 25 next year. Singer’s dismissal followed his abrupt absences from the set, which had caused a production halt. (Photo : Jeff Spicer | Getty Images)

Dexter Fletcher will take over directing duties on Bohemian Rhapsody, the much-anticipated Queen biopic previously helmed by X-Men and The Usual Suspects director Bryan Singer.

Filming is scheduled to resume next week in London. Fox announced the change-up on Wednesday, Dec. 6, merely two days after dismissing Singer from the job.

20th Century Fox fired Singer allegedly after his repeated absences from the set had caused the studio to temporarily halt production. Fletcher, who directed 2013's Sunshine on Leith and last year's Eddie the Eagle, will take charge of the film through its last few weeks of filming and will be involved in post-production.

Bohemian Rhapsody Biopic Development Woes

The film has gone through a lot of snags throughout its years-long development, and for several months between 2013 and 2014, Fletcher was one of the rumored directors attached. At the time, Ben Whishaw was in talks to portray Freddie Mercury after Sacha Baron Cohen, another actor speculated to star and even write and direct, had walked away at some point in the process.

Bohemian Rhapsody has been filming in London with Emmy-winning Mr. Robot star Rami Malek in the lead as Mercury, the band's frontman who needs no introduction. Two weeks of filming remain, according to sources, and Fox has not changed the film's scheduled premiere. That means Bohemian Rhapsody will hit theaters on Dec. 25, 2018, as planned.

Bryan Singer's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' Exit

Much about Singer's exit remains speculative, but the director apparently failed to return to the set after Thanksgiving holiday, which forced the studio to stop production. A mere few days later, he was fired for "unreliability and unprofessionalism," and allegedly even got into a tense confrontation with Malek over his absences. Yet Singer claimed in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter that he was fired because Fox would not let him take care of a "gravely ill parent."

"I wanted nothing more than to be able to finish this project and help honor the legacy of Freddie Mercury and Queen, 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."

Singer also said there had been no confrontation between him and Malek, and that apart from creative differences, the two had put their differences aside and were working together harmoniously before the Thanksgiving holiday.

But as Variety reports, a source claims Tom Hollander, who portrays Queen band manager Jim Beach, walked away as well because of Singer's behavior, but was convinced to return.

Bohemian Rhapsody stars Malek as Mercury, Ben Hardy as drummer Roger Taylor, Gwilym Lee as lead guitarist Brian May, and Joe Mazzello as bass guitarist John Deacon. Lucy Boynton also stars as Mary Austin, Mercury's muse and lover.

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