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Dexter Fletcher Out As Director Of Freddie Mercury Pic; Creative Differences Cited

By | Thursday March 13, 2014 @ 1:19pm PDT
Mike Fleming

freddieEXCLUSIVE:  It’s back to the drawing board for a director on the untitled movie about Queen frontman Freddie Mercury that Graham King‘s GK Films is making at Sony. King has quietly parted ways with British actor-turned-helmer Dexter Fletcher, who got the job after directing the musical Sunshine On Leith. I’ve heard that the two didn’t see eye to eye on what will be an R-rated pic about Mercury, who’ll be played by Ben Whishaw. I’m told the actor is still firmly in place but their hope to keep production on pace might be optimistic, given that Whishaw is booked for the next James Bond picture. Whishaw stepped in after Sacha Baron Cohen dropped out in what has been a struggle to get the film just right before starting production.

Related: Sacha Baron Cohen Exits Freddie Mercury Biopic

benwThey went as far as starting soft preproduction on a film that was skedded to begin shooting in the summer. I had heard that perhaps Sony was wavering, but the studio adamantly denies it. They hope to keep close to that start date and name a new helmer shortly. With the band’s songs part of the package, the pic will tell the formative coming-of-age story of the group, culminating in Queen headlining Live Aid in 1985 and … Read More »

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GK Films Taps Dexter Fletcher To Helm Queen Rock Pic With Ben Whishaw As Freddie Mercury

Mike Fleming

freddie-mercury-returns-as-an-optical-illusion-with-queen-06f27f5137EXCLUSIVE: Hot off directing the musical Sunshine On Leith, British actor-turned-helmer Dexter Fletcher has closed a deal to helm the movie on rock supergroup Queen, with  frontman Freddie Mercury to be played Ben Whishaw. GK Films’ Graham King is producing, and Sony Pictures has first crack at the film. This has been a passion project for King for several years, and it started with Sacha Baron Cohen attached to play Mercury, the singular-voiced frontman. Fletcher, who’s repped by WME and Independent, made his directorial debut with the BAFTA-nominated Wild Bill before directing Sunshine On Leith, a musical based on the Proclaimers songbook. Before that, Fletcher became a familiar face acting in films that include Guy Ritchie’s Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels. Whishaw has been rumored to be getting the Mercury role for some time.

Related: Sacha Baron Cohen Exits Freddie Mercury Biopic

benwI’m told that Fletcher has been meeting the band and getting a feel for the Queen story, and that the intention is for the movie to get up and running next year regardless of whether Sony steps up. With the band’s songs part of the package, the pic will tell the formative coming-of-age story of the group, culminating in Queen headlining Live Aid in 1985. Queen’s performance is considered one of rock’s all-time great concert … Read More »

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