Just days ago on December 1, FOX halted production on the Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody. The studio cited it was due to the “unexpected unavailability” of director Bryan Singer. A new statement reveals the 52-year-old filmmaker has been fired. “Bryan Singer is no longer the director of Bohemian Rhapsody,” the studio said in a statement.
What happened? At first, I assumed Singer was just another casualty of sexual misconduct in the workplace. Alas, not. Reportedly, he clashed with leading man Rami Malek, who’s portraying Freddie Mercury in the film.
“The growing tension led to a confrontation between Singer and Malek, which, while it did not become physical, did involve Singer throwing an object. Subsequently, however, the two are said to have settled their differences and filming was expected to resume,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.
However, Singer never returned to set after the Thanksgiving break. Malek then complained to the studio, charging Singer with not being present on set, unreliability and unprofessionalism. According to sources, Singer has developed a reputation for going AWOL mid-production. He did the same during X-Men: Apocalypse and Superman Returns.
Reportedly, two more weeks of principal photography remain on the film. Even though cinematographer Thomas Newton Sigel stepped in to direct on some of the days that Bryan was MIA, the search for a new director is in place. An announcement will be made in the next few days.
Surprised by this development? Weigh in below.
UPDATE: Bryan Singer has responded to his public firing. He claims FOX didn’t allow him to take the time off to take care of his ailing parents. Read his full statement below.
“With fewer than three weeks to shoot remaining, I asked Fox for some time off so I could return to the U.S. to deal with pressing health matters concerning one of my parents.This was a very taxing experience, which ultimately took a serious toll on my own health. Unfortunately, the studio was unwilling to accommodate me and terminated my services. This was not my decision and it was beyond my control. Rumors that my unexpected departure from the film was sparked by a dispute I had with Rami Malek are not true. While, at times, we did have creative differences on set, Rami and I successfully put those differences behind us and continued to work on the film together until just prior to Thanksgiving. I wanted nothing more than to be able to finish this project and help honor the legacy of Freddie Mercury and Queen, but Fox would not permit me to do so because I needed to temporarily put my health, and the health of my loved ones, first.”