Dexter Fletcher has been hired to replace Bryan Singer as the director of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” 20th Century Fox announced on Wednesday. Fletcher’s credits include “Eddie the Eagle” and ‘Wild Bill.”
Production on the Freddie Mercury biopic will resume next week in the U.K.
Fletcher was originally attached to direct the film, with Ben Whishaw (“Skyfall”) in the role of legendary rocker Mercury. The director left the project in March 2014 over creative differences, and eventually Singer came on board with star Rami Malek.
News of Singer’s firing from the mostly-finished film hit on Monday, when TheWrap reported on tensions between the director and studio over what numerous insiders called a “pattern” of unprofessional behavior — mostly prolonged absence and lateness, as well as conflicts with Malek.
Singer denied any misdoings and issued a lengthy response to his firing through a lawyer — saying an ailing parent pulled his focus from the project and had compromised his own health.
“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 said in his statement.
“I asked Fox for some time off so I could return to the U.S. to deal with pressing health matters concerning one of my parents. This was a very taxing experience, which ultimately took a serious toll on my own health. Unfortunately, the studio was unwilling to accommodate me and terminated my services,” he said.
Singer’s production company, Bad Hat Harry, has since vacated the Fox lot in West Los Angeles.
“Rhapsody” costars Mike Myers, “Game of Thrones” star Aidan Gillen and “Sing Street’s” Lucy Boynton. It remains scheduled for December 2018 release.
A London native, Fletcher began his career as a child actor in “The Long Good Friday,” “The Elephant Man” and “The Bounty,” along with hit TV series “Press Gang.” He went on to appear in a number of cult British films such as “The Rachel Papers,” “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” and “Layer Cake.”