Can you recall a director being hired to direct a movie twice? I can’t, but surely it has happened before today, when 20th Century Fox announced that Dexter Fletcher (Eddie the Eagle) will replace Bryan Singer as the director of the Freddie Mercury movie Bohemian Rhapsody.
Fletcher had been hired to direct the film in December 2013, back when Ben Whishaw was attached to play the flamboyant singer. Fletcher developed the project for four months before exiting due to creative differences with the surviving members of Queen. Still, he arguably knew the story and the creative team as well as anyone, so his hiring makes a lot of sense.
It was necessitated, of course, after Singer failed to return to the set in London following the Thanksgiving holiday break. While some reports attributed his absence to clashes with the film’s star, Rami Malek, Singer himself downplayed any discord, and explained he simply needed to take some time off to deal with a family matter involving his mother’s health. Whatever their reason, Fox wasn’t willing to accommodate its X-Men director, firing him from the project and bidding adieu to his production company, Bad Hat Harry, which had outstayed its welcome on the studio lot.
Again, Fletcher is a more than capable replacement for Singer, as Eddie the Eagle is better than anything Singer has directed in years. Now that Fletcher has agreed to take the reins, production is expected to resume next week, and the film is in no danger of missing its December 2018 release date.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief