Bryan Singer will be credited as the director of the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, producer Graham King told Empire magazine. Singer was replaced by Dexter Fletcher during the final stages of the production after he stayed away from the sets for days without a proper explanation.
20th Century Fox, the studio behind the chronicle of Mercury and the formation of the rock band Queen in the 1970s, sacked Singer in December and hired Fletcher to complete the shoot. The movie will be released on November 2. Rami Malek plays Mercury, the Indian-origin lead singer, while Gwilym Lee is lead guitarist Brian May and Ben Hardy, drummer Roger Taylor. Joe Mazzello has been cast as bass guitarist John Deacon. Lucy Boynton plays Mary Austin, Mercury’s companion.
“Bryan Singer is the credited director of the film,” King told Empire. “Basically, Bryan had some personal issues going on. He wanted to hiatus the movie to deal with them, and the movie had to get finished. That was what it came down to… It wasn’t about reinventing the wheel. We needed someone who would have some creative freedom, but work inside a box.” Fletcher shot for 16 days, King added.
“Fletcher said in an interview last month that he did not want the directing credit,” Variety reported. “The Directors Guild of America requires in its contracts that each film may have only one director or directing entity, if the two directors are an established team.”
Bryan Singer has directed, among other titles, The Usual Suspects, Superman Returns, X-Men, X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse. His absence from the Bohemian Rhapsody shoot was attributed to “a personal health matter” concerning him and his family.
Bohemian Rhapsody has been in the making since 2010. Sacha Baron Cohen was originally cast as Mercury, but he walked out of the project after creative differences with the surviving members of Queen.
Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara) died in 1991 after complications from HIV/AIDS. He was 45.