Fletcher’s acting experience may help connect with Rami Malek as the new director of Bohemian Rhapsody.
On Monday, 2oth Century Fox released a statement saying that Bryan Singer was no longer the director of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. Now they have replaced Singer with actor and director Dexter Fletcher.
The studio stated the reasoning behind his for his absence from the set on multiple occasions. His unreliability led to the cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel to step in as director on set in order to keep the production moving along. While Singer claims his absence was because of a sick relative, Malek complained to the studio much earlier about his unprofessionalism. Co-star Tom Hollander is also said to have disliked Singer’s unreliability and momentarily quit the film. He was persuaded to return.
The tensions between Singer and Malek led to an altercation, while not physical, Singer did throw something. They were supposed to have settled their differences, but Singer still didn’t return to production after Thanksgiving and the studio decided to terminate his contract. Singer denies that the chaotic relationship between him and Malek contributed to his departure though. “Rumors that my unexpected departure from the film was sparked by a dispute I had with Rami Malek are not true. While, at times, we did have creative differences on set, Rami and I successfully put those differences behind us and continued to work on the film together until just prior to Thanksgiving,” he said in a statement. The Hollywood Reported claims an insider told them that Singer is “suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder because of the tensions on the set.”
Singer does not have a clean reputation. He was sued in 2014 by Michael Egan III for allegedly drugging and raping him at a party. A 14-year-old extra also sued him for having other boys strip for a scene during the production of Apt Pupil. Singer’s firing seems to have come at a good time, just before the news broke of his most recent lawsuit claiming he raped a 17-year-old boy in 2003 after he told him he could get him an acting gig. His departure, looking at his reputation and his unprofessionalism is for the best.
His replacement, Dexter Fletcher, is better known for his experience as an actor rather than a director. Previously in Band of Brothers, Kick-Ass, and The Elephant Man, Fox took somewhat of a risk bringing him in halfway through the production even if the first director was fired. His experience as an actor is actually much more beneficial than if he was an experienced director like Singer was. Fletcher has been on the other side of the camera and knows how an actor needs to be treated in order to have a great performance.
This is also a great opportunity for him to prove himself since this deal has been in the spotlight and he doesn’t have a solid reputation as a director yet. Coming in and saving the production would be a great follow up to Eddie the Eagle. It’ll be a warm-up for him as well since he will be directing an Elton John biopic in the near future. Hopefully, that production will go a little more smoothly than this one.
It’s certainly not good news for Singer, but the buzz around the controversial production has been unexpected publicity for the film. Malek’s performance will be very exciting to see and the problems with productions have only heightened anticipation for the final film.