By Mark Hodge (doddleNEWS)
The Freddie Mercury/Queen biopic has suffered yet another blow, with director Dexter Fletcher leaving the project citing creative differences with producer Graham King.
This follows Sacha Baron Cohen’s exit from the lead role, after developing the movie, enlisting writer Peter Morgan.
The Borat actor’s replacement is Ben Whishaw (Skyfall), whose commitment to Bond 24 means Sony has entered the musical biopic into a soft pre-production, with shooting due to begin in the summer.
Now the project, which is being co-produced by the surviving members of Queen, will have to find another director, capable of doing a musical justice at short notice.
Fletcher, who made his name as an actor, landed the job after making the refreshingly optimistic Sunshine on Leith (2013), based on the music of Scottish duo The Proclaimers.
First, the film will not be a sugar coated retelling of the British Rock band. In fact, the movie will have an R rating.
Also, lead guitarist Brian May has responded to speculation surrounding Baron Cohen’s departure, while talking to Ultimate Guitar (via The Independent), calling them “sensationalist”.
He said: “The last three movies Cohen made, he makes outstanding performances, but they’re very much Sacha Baron Cohen performances.
“We thought there has to be no distraction in the Freddie movie. You have to really suspend that disbelief – the man who plays Freddie, you have to really believe is Freddie. We didn’t think that could really happen with Sacha.
“That’s not any criticism of his talent whatsoever, it’s just a feeling that it was not going to work. We parted company on very good terms.”