‘Rocketman’ nearly had a cameo from Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury

Gregory Wakeman
Rami Malek nearly had a cameo in Rocketman

There are many similarities between Rocketman and Bohemian Rhapsody.

Both are musical biopics about two of the most charismatic singers and performers in history, while they both feature Freddie Mercury and Elton John’s manager John Reid, and were, at least partially, directed by Dexter Fletcher, too.

Fletcher, who stepped in for the final few weeks of Bohemian Rhapsody after Bryan Singer was fired, has revealed that these similarities were so obvious that he considered a tiny crossover that would have seen Rami Malek reprise his Oscar winning role as Freddie Mercury.

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Gay Star News recently sat down with Fletcher to discuss Rocketman, during which time they asked, “Were you ever tempted to invite Rami Malek to be a part of this film?”

“There was an idea I had one point,” responded Fletcher. “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! That would have been amazing. [But] it didn’t come to pass.”

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 29: Taron Egerton attends "Rocketman" US Premiere at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, NYC on May 29, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Fletcher ultimately decided that including Malek as Mercury “would’ve been a little too knowing,” while he also noted, “I’m not looking to set out to make a cinematic universe!”

John Reid was a key figure in the careers of both Elton John and Queen, as he managed both of them in their pomp. In Bohemian Rhapsody he is portrayed by Aiden Gillan while in Rocketman Richard Madden was given the honour of doing so.

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It would have been interesting to see if Malek would have returned as Freddie Mercury.

Clearly the actor owed Fletcher a huge favour for replacing Singer at such short notice, while it would have certainly been a crowd-pleasing addition as Malek picked up the Best Actor Academy Award for his work on Bohemian Rhapsody, and the film went on to gross the staggering amount of £709.34 million ($903.7 million) at the box office.