After reports of escalating tension on the set of the upcoming Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, director Bryan Singer has been fired.
20th Century Fox released a statement on Monday, simply saying, “Bryan Singer is no longer the director of Bohemian Rhapsody.”
On Set Tension Between Bryan Singer And Rami Malek
Production on the film had temporarily shut down last week, due to Singer’s “unexpected unavailability,” according to the studio. When Singer failed to return to set after Thanksgiving break, producers began to wonder if they should seek a replacement director.
A rep for Singer explained that the director’s absence was due to “a personal health matter concerning Bryan and his family,” but rumors surrounding the project seemed to suggest otherwise. Producers and stars were reportedly growing weary of Singer’s “unprofessionalism,” particularly Rami Malek, who appears in the film as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. Tension between Malek and Singer apparently became so heated that it resulted in an on-set confrontation that included Singer throwing an object at the Mr. Robot actor.
Malek’s co-star, Tom Hollander, who plays Queen manager Jim Beach, had also become fed up with Singer’s behavior, and actually quit the film for a brief time before being persuaded to come back.
Singer’s repeated absences from set reportedly became such an issue that cinematographer Thomas Newton Siegel had to step in to helm the film for several days.
Singer Responds To Studio's Decision To Fire Him
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Singer claims that Fox refused to allow him to care for a sick parent, calling it a “very taxing experience” that “ultimately took a serious toll on [his] own health.”
Read more here:
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 . . . Bohemian Rhapsody is a passion project of mine. 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.
Singer also addressed the rumors of the fight with Malek, saying that his departure from the film had nothing to do with it, and adding that though the two had “creative differences,” they had put those differences aside and had continued to work together until just before Thanksgiving.
The fate of the film remains uncertain, but it is still set to hit theaters December 25, 2018.