“I wanted to do a good job and bring it home. A lot of people were working hard and needed someone to get it over the line,” he told IndieWire of taking the reins. “I did my best work. I drove it and propelled it, but was not emotionally attached to it.”
Fletcher was an easy choice for producers, as he was previously hired to direct Bohemian Rhapsody once before, though he quit in 2014, citing creative differences with producer Graham King, according to Deadline.
“[The producers] sort of said, ‘Look, this is a film that needs to be finished,’ and they trusted me with that responsibility,” he told Indiewire. “It was really about watching what had been already created and being part of that. It wasn’t like changing and reinventing the wheel.”
Fletcher did not receive official credit from the Directors Guild of America for his work, but Bohemian Rhapsody was a success despite the turmoil, earning a Best Picture nod at the Oscars and winning four trophies, including Best Actor for star Rami Malek.
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Singer was dismissed in December 2017 after he was reported missing from the set following the Thanksgiving break, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Twentieth Century Fox said it terminated his contract due to his “unexpected availability,” though THR reported that producers and Malek had “grown tired” of Singer’s on-set behavior.
Meanwhile, Fletcher has since turned his attention to Rocketman, the upcoming Elton John musical biopic starring Taron Egerton.
After the PG-13 Bohemian Rhapsody caught flak for “straight-washing” Freddie Mercury’s sexuality, Fletcher says that an R rating “was always part of our aim” for Rocketman, which includes a sex scene between John and manager John Reid (played by Richard Madden).
“I did not compromise my vision for anyone,” he told IndieWire. “I cut some things for length, that’s it.”
Rocketman world premieres at the Cannes Film Festival on Thursday and opens May 31.