Deadline has reported that director Dexter Fletcher has left the troubled project just a few months after he had been hired for the project, reportedly as Fletcher was not seeing eye-to-eye with producer Graham King, presumably during the preproduction work that was already underway on the film.
Fletcher was hired for the film last December at the same time actor Ben Whishaw was signed to play the lead. Whishaw’s casting came on the heels of actor Sacha Baron Cohen leaving the project after circling the lead role.
The film will focus on Mercury as a member of the iconic rock group Queen, starting with the early days of the band and stopping at the triumphant comeback concert at Live Aid in 1985. The band has authorized the use of many of its songs in the film.
While the search for a director is already underway, this new setback will undoubtedly delay plans to have the film in production this summer. Further complicating things will be Whishaw’s shooting schedule for the next James Bond film, in which he will be reprising his role as the British Secret Service’s chief gadget designer Q, which is already scheduled to be shooting later this year.