Bryan Singer being fired as the director of Bohemian Rhapsody sent a shockwave through Hollywood.
Not only was Singer the second director to be fired from a mainstream movie in recent memory, as Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were booted off "Solo: A Star Wars Story" six months earlier, but it immediately made cinephiles wonder what Singer had done to be dismissed.
A new Hollywood Reporter piece has provided further details on those circumstances, but during my recent discussion with Allen Leech, who plays Freddie Mercury’s manager Paul Prenter in the biopic, I decided to quiz him about Singer’s departure.
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“I can’t really talk to why he left and what happened there,” was Leech’s response. “But what I can say is that the guys as a band and then myself and Lucy and the others were just making sure that we stayed on track making the best movie that we could.”
When I asked Leech how the cast responded to Singer being fired, he diplomatically added, “We as a band were very close knit. We just got on with what we had to do.”
“What was going on elsewhere was what the producers had to deal with, that certainly is how we felt. We would check in with each other and stay focused on that, and then everything else was dealt with by Graham King and others.”
But Leech was more than happy to wax lyrical about Dexter Fletcher, who was hired to replace Singer and oversee the final days of production on "Bohemian Rhapsody" in January, 2018.
“Dexter was obviously an actor, so he has a great understanding of that side of the performance and that side of filmmaking.”
“He was previously involved in the production when it was going to be done with Sacha Baron Cohen, so he had an intimate knowledge of the story and the script.”
“He was great. He really took us on and led us to the end. So were Denis O’Sullivan and Graham King, who were both magnificent. Fletcher very much came in to get the best out of everyone to get this movie finished.”
You can see what Singer and Fletcher achieved with "Bohemian Rhapsody" when it is released on November 2.