Dexter Fletcher to direct Freddie Mercury biopic

CREDIT Rex Shutterstock

CREDIT Rex Shutterstock

Dexter Fletcher will take over directing duties on Bohemian Rhapsody, the much-anticipated Queen biopic previously helmed by X-Men and The Usual Suspects director Bryan Singer.

The "X-Men" filmmaker has claimed his services were "terminated" by the studio after he asked for some time off to go back to the U.S. to deal with "pressing health matters concerning one of my parents".

With Bryan Singer out, 20th Century Fox has tapped filmmaker Dexter Fletcher to direct "Bohemian Rhapsody", a biopic about Queen out December 25 next year.

Nominated for a BAFTA Film award for his 2011 directorial debut "Wild Bill", Fletcher is an accomplished actor-turned-director who has starred in numerous film and theatre adaptations throughout his career.

Fox had announced on December 1 that it had temporarily halted production on "Bohemian Rhapsody" and cited "the "unexpected unavailability of Bryan Singer".

"'Bohemian Rhapsody' is a passion project of mine".

Production on the film is set to resume next week in London with Fletcher at the helm, noted The Hollywood Reporter. This was a very taxing experience, which ultimately took a serious toll on my own health.

"Unfortunately, the studio was unwilling to accommodate me and terminated my services", Singer wrote. "This was not my decision and it was beyond my control".

The question now is whether Fletcher is coming on as an emergency surgeon to save the production and patch it all back together or if he'll be allowed to reshape the film beyond Singer's original vision.

Last month, Singer shared a photo on his Instagram of Malek playing the late Queen frontman, captioning it: "Couldn't help myself and had to post this iPhone pic". So far the movie remains on track for its 2018 release, according to Den Of Geek. Gwilym Lee ("The Hollow Crown") is portraying lead guitarist Brian May and Joe Mazzello ("The Social Network") is in the role of bass guitarist John Deacon.

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