‘Rocketman’ Director Considered Using Rami Malek For Freddie Mercury Cameo

Rocketman premiere
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Two films from the last eight months, 2018’s Bohemian Rhapsody (about Freddie Mercury) and 2019’s Rocketman (about Elton John), had quite a few things in common. Both were about rock stars from the 1970s who were flamboyant and gay, and both were directed, at least in part, by Dexter Fletcher. Fletcher completed Bohemian Rhapsody after director Bryan Singer was fired, while Fletcher was the credited director for Rocketman.

It appears that the two films almost had one more thing in common.

Per Gay Star News, Fletcher considered asking Rami Malek, who played Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, to make a cameo appearance in Rocketman, although he ultimately decided against it.

It would have been “too knowing,” Fletcher said in an interview with the site. “I’m not looking to set out to make a cinematic universe.”

Fletcher added that he had the idea of including a scene in which Elton John and his mother are at one table, while Freddie Mercury and John Reid would be sitting at another, at which point they wave at each other.

There’s one problem with that potential idea. While music manager John Reid appears as a character in both movies, different actors play the part. Aidan Gillen portrayed him in Bohemian Rhapsody, while Richard Madden did in Rocketman, in which he had a bigger role and was even in a relationship with Elton John for much of the film. Both Gillen and Madden were on Game of Thrones, as Littlefinger and Robb Stark, respectively.

Just because Freddie Mercury didn’t show up in Rocketman doesn’t mean there won’t still be movies about him. There were reports earlier this year, following the release of Bohemian Rhapsody, that the surviving members of Queen are considering a sequel to the film.

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Per Consequence of Sound, the movie would cover the years between the end of the first film in 1985 and Mercury’s AIDS-related death in 1991. It would cover the later years of Queen’s music as well as Mercury’s illness and eventual passing. However, per Slashfilm, one of the producers of Bohemian Rhapsody, Graham King, denied that any such project is in the works.

Bohemian Rhapsody, per Box Office Mojo, grossed $900 million worldwide, including $216 million domestically, and also won four Oscars. Rocketman so far has grossed $100 million worldwide, about half of which was domestic.

Fletcher also said in the interview that he would be interested in making a biopic about Madonna.