The team behind the long-gestating Freddie Mercury biopic has suffered another setback, with news arriving via Deadline that Wild Bill / Sunshine On Leith director Dexter Fletcher, who was attached to the project back in December, has now left the project.
The cause of his departure hasn’t been revealed; the report simply mentions that he didn’t see eye-to-eye with the producers, which includes Brian May and the rest of Queen. We’re hopeful he may one day be more candid on the matter when enough time has passed.
Fletcher’s hiring alongside Ben Whishaw (who replaced Sacha Baron Cohen) meant that the filmmakers, who include writer Peter Morgan, could kick off pre-production on the film. Whishaw is still aboard, and all involved are now looking for another director to keep things on track and the planned summer shoot alive.
At its core, the film will focus on the formative years of the band and culminating with the famous, stadium-rocking performance at 1985’s Live Aid event. But issues have arisen, first between Cohen and Queen and now, presumably, between Fletcher and the musicians, over the tone of the film. With May and the rest holding the needed rights to songs such as 'We Are The Champions', 'Don’t Stop Me Now' and 'You’re My Best Friend', they have more of a say of what goes into any biopic. Mercury's life was controversial and tough to get right, so hopefully someone will manage to strike the right balance.