Things aren’t getting any easier for Sony’s still-untitled Freddie Mercury biopic but, as they say, the show must go on. In December, Sacha Baron Cohen was excused from the role of the Queen frontman—despite being a lanky guy who often has a mustache—and replaced with Skyfall’s Ben Whishaw, a similarly lanky guy who can probably grow a mustache. Now, as reported by Deadline, director Dexter Fletcher has backed out of the project, citing creative differences with the band—differences that must have interfered with his one vision for the film.

This means Sony is under pressure to find a new good old-fashioned director boy or girl if it wants to begin shooting this summer, as planned. Complicating that timeline further, Whishaw is set to reprise his role as Q in the next James Bond movie, whenever that happens.


The biopic will apparently follow Mercury from the formation of Queen up to the band’s famous performance at Live Aid in 1985, stopping a few years short of his death in 1991. Sony is presumably hoping that the departure of this director will be the last hammer to fall for the movie, and another one won’t bite the dust. Flash!