Queen's Freddie Mercury biopic project has hit another hurdle after director Dexter Fletcher left the project.
Variety reports he was “let go” by producer Graham King after changes requested to the script were “taking too long to fix.”
It’s also been reported that Sony have refused to cut a distribution deal with Tribeca Productions, fronted by Robert De Niro.
Actor Ben Whishaw remains on board as the man who’ll play the leading role – but his commitments to the next James Bond movie have cast some doubt over the planned shooting schedule, set to start in June.
Fletcher and Whishaw were named in December after Queen men Brian May and Roger Taylor decided Sacha Baron Cohen “wasn’t going to work” as Mercury – although guitarist May said they’d parted as friends.
The movie tells the story of the band’s rise to fame, culminating in their triumphant appearance at LiveAid in 1985. Last year May told Classic Rock: “We had a problem knowing what the film was actually about, but a few weeks ago we sat down with who we think is our great new director, and it dawned on us all that what it’s really about is a family.”
Meanwhile, Queen last week revealed they’d tour the US with American Idol winner Adam Lambert fronting the band – and suggested retired bassist John Deacon was too “fragile” to be involved in any of the band’s projects.