Dexter Fletcher has opened up about replacing Bryan Singer as the director of Bohemian Rhapsody, insisting that he came in and “just finished it up, really.”
I spoke to Fletcher over the phone on Thursday about his leading role in “Terminal,” during which time he recalled being offered the directing job on “Bohemian Rhapsody,” not just once but twice.
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“I’d been involved in that a while back in a different iteration. That project went through quite a torturous birth. It took 12 years or something to get it off the ground and at various stages different actors and directors were involved in it and I was one of those people.”
Fletcher was originally involved in “Bohemian Rhapsody” back in early 2014, when Ben Whishaw was due to play Freddie Mercury. But he left the project due to creative differences with producer Graham King.
When Singer departed the film in December, though, with just a month of shooting left, Fletcher was seen as the perfect replacement because of his previous connection.
“Then when they were in the situation where they needed someone to come in and finish the movie they came to me and it sort of made sense. It was just a great opportunity.”
“And I was like, ‘OK, I am just going to go in and get this done.’ I kind of just finished it up, really. There was a certain amount to do. It was a completely unique scenario. But sometimes that gets thrown up.”
“I hadn’t directed since ‘Eddie The Eagle’ and I was keen to do something, so when the opportunity presented itself I jumped in as best as I could with what was there.”
Fletcher also provided some insight into his directing process on “Bohemian Rhapsody” over those few weeks.
“I came in to help it over the line, per se. I very much studied what was already established and worked at making sure tonally that it ended up being the film it was meant to be. And played my part accordingly.”
“I wasn’t coming in and re-inventing the wheel. Trying to reinvent it all wouldn’t have serviced anybody. I really came in to be a professional and help get it completed. There were a lot of people involved that I had worked with before and that I knew.”
“It wasn’t like, ‘I’m going to throw everything out and start again.’ We had a situation where we needed to get the film completed. So that’s very much what I did.”
According to Fletcher, and those that have seen an early cut of Bohemian Rhapsody, the film hasn’t just survived its tumultuous production, it has flourished.
“By all accounts the film is very, very good. I am very proud of it. And with my contribution. Rami Malek is really going to astound some people with what he has achieved. I am happy to have played my part in that.”
We’ll see what Fletcher and Singer have achieved with “Bohemian Rhapsody” when it is released on November 2, 2018.
In the meantime, make sure to check out Fletcher in front of the camera as an assassin being led a merry dance during a high-risk mission by Margot Robbie in "Terminal," which has now been released in theaters and On Demand / Digital HD.