Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman have more than a little in common. Dexter Fletcher carried the former film to the finish line after original director Bryan Singer was fired; Fletcher directed Rocketman in its entirety. Both films make prominent use of their subjects’ music, both feature LGBTQ protagonists (and were censored for it), both were long-gestating projects that spent years in development hell…we could go on.
But most significantly (for our purposes anyway), both films feature the real-life character of John Reid, who managed both Queen and Elton John at the height of their careers. (Both films, coincidentally, also cast a former Game of Thrones star as Reid — Aidan Gillen in Rhapsody, Richard Madden in Rocketman.) And that common DNA strand almost led to another Bohemian Rhapsody figure popping up in Fletcher’s phantasmagorical take on Elton John. In an interview with Gay Star News, Fletcher revealed he flirted with the idea of having Rami Malek reprise his Oscar-winning role as Freddie Mercury.
“There was an idea I had [at] one point, where Elton’s in a restaurant with his mother. I thought John Reid and Freddie could be at another table and they wave at each other!” the director said. “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!”
It’s hard not to be retroactively disappointed by that news, but Malek’s got a lot on his plate these days anyway. And Fletcher could always change his mind about creating a universe — which is to say, maybe keep your eyes peeled for Egerton’s Elton John if that Madonna biopic ever comes to pass.