Rami Malek’s Freddie Mercury Nearly Appeared in ‘Rocketman’
Director Dexter Fletcher has revealed that Rami Malek’s portrayal of Freddie Mercury almost appeared in the Elton John biopic Rocketman.
“There was an idea I had at one point, where Elton’s in a restaurant with his mother,” the filmmaker explained to Gay Star News. “I thought John Reid and Freddie could be at another table and they wave at each other.”
The moment would have been steeped in reality. Reid managed John for more than 30 years, with a brief three-year overlap in the ‘70s when he also managed Queen. Reid is played by Aidan Gillen in Bohemian Rhapsody and by Richard Madden in Rocketman.
Though he believes the moment would have been “amazing,” Fletcher ultimately scrapped the cameo idea, confessing that he was “not looking to set out to make a cinematic universe.”
Fletcher took over the directorial reins of Bohemian Rhapsody after Bryan Singer was fired from the movie. The film went on to become a massive box-office success, while also scoring four Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Malek. The director also helmed Rocketman, putting him behind the lens for two of the most talked about biopics in recent memory.
The John-inspired film opened May 31 and was met with largely positive reviews. Critics raved about the performance of Taron Egerton in the leading role, while also praising the movie's "fantastical style" of storytelling. Rocketman recently eclipsed $100 million at the worldwide box office, though it still has a long way to go to catch Bohemian Rhapsody's lofty total.