‘Rocketman’ Director Considered Having Rami Malek Reprise Freddie Mercury in Elton John Biopic

watcherJune 12, 2019

While the idea sounds enticing, director Dexter Fletcher ultimately chose to let Elton John’s movie be fully devoted to Elton John.

"Rocketman" and "Bohemian Rhapsody"

“Rocketman” and “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Paramount / Fox

The Elton John musical biopic “Rocketman” has received endless comparisons to four-time Oscar winner “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and it turns out the two movies could have been directly related had director Dexter Fletcher gone through with an idea to have Rami Malek reprise his role of Freddie Mercury in “Rocketman” opposite Taron Egerton’s John. Fletcher revealed the idea during an interview with Gay Star News (via /Film).

“There was an idea I had one point, where Elton’s in a restaurant with his mother,” Fletcher said. “I thought John Reid and Freddie could be at another table and they wave at each other! That would have been amazing, [but] it didn’t come to pass. It would’ve been a little too knowing. I’m not looking to set out to make a cinematic universe!”

John Reid managed both Elton John and Queen, so it wouldn’t have been too out of the question for Freddie Mercury to pop up in “Rocketman.” “Game of Thrones” and “Bodyguard” favorite Richard Madden plays Reid in “Rocketman,” while “Thrones” co-star Aidan Gillen stars as Reid in “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Fletcher considered Malek for a “Rocketman” cameo but ultimately decided not to take the focus away from his “Rocketman” subject.

While in the midst of directing “Rocketman,” Fletcher was called in to finish production on “Bohemian Rhapsody” after 20th Century Fox fired original director Bryan Singer due to alleged unprofessional behavior on set. Fletcher oversaw the final weeks of production on “Rhapsody” and helped complete the film in post-production. Singer maintained the official directing credit on “Rhapsody” because of DGA rules.

“Rocketman” has proved to be a decent critical and commercial hit for Paramount Pictures this summer movie season, but it’s nowhere near the juggernaut “Bohemian Rhapsody” turned out to be for 20th Century Fox. “Rhapsody” made $903 million worldwide, a jaw-dropping gross for a non-tentpole movie in today’s marketplace, and picked up Oscars for Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, Best Film Editing, and Best Actor for Rami Malek. The actor has Bond 25 lined up next, where he’ll play the villain opposite Daniel Craig’s James Bond.

“Rocketman” is now playing in theaters nationwide.

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