Despite finally nailing down a lead, the highly-anticipated biopic of legendary Queen frontman Freddie Mercury has hit another speed bump, with a representative for director Dexter Fletcher confirming that the filmmaker has walked away from the production citing creative differences.
According to Deadline, the British actor-turned-director did not see eye-to-eye with GK Films producer Graham King. Ben Whishaw, best known for his roles in Skyfall and Bright Star, is reportedly still attached to star in the film. Whishaw was confirmed as the lead back in December.
Variety reports that King, who is producing with Tim Headington and Tribeca Productions’ Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal, as well as Queen Films, experienced differences with Fletcher and Whishaw, letting the former go after deciding that changes to the film’s script were taking too long.
This isn’t the first hiccup in the production of Mercury, with Sacha Baron Cohen, who was originally slated for the lead role, leaving the picture last year after surviving Queen members Roger Taylor and Brian May decided that the Borat actor’s presence in the film would be “distracting.”
King is reportedly still looking to commence production this summer and hopes to have a new director shortly, however, as Variety reports, sources indicate the film may have to move its start date to avoid a clash with Whishaw’s commitments to the next James Bond picture.