Freddie Mercury Biopic Loses Its Director
As Queen fans will no doubt recall, Fletcher’s not the first high-profile participant to exit the Mercury movie. Original star Sacha Baron Cohen quit last year, also because of creative differences; reportedly, Cohen was interested in putting together a warts-and-all portrayal of the singer, while the producers — a group that includes Mercury’s surviving bandmates Brian May and Roger Taylor — wanted to “set a course towards a PG version of Mercury’s life.”
Fletcher’s departure could potentially have a domino effect on the film’s new star, Ben Whishaw, who’s already committed to the James Bond franchise and is expected to be on hand when the 24th installment in the series starts shooting (reportedly this fall). If a new director isn’t lined up quickly, the Mercury biopic might find itself in limbo again while the filmmakers wait for Whishaw to clear some post-’Bond’ space in his schedule.
Happily for May and Taylor, they’ve got Queen’s upcoming North American tour with Adam Lambert to look forward to, as well as talk of a new album featuring previously unreleased Mercury recordings. Whatever differences keep dogging this project, here’s hoping they manage to work themselves out sooner than later.