Bryan Singer has been fired from the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Apparently, Singer and the film’s star, Rami Malek, who portrays the legendary frontman of Queen, clashed on set due to Singer’s frequent absenteeism.
Production on Bohemian Rhapsody was halted last week due to Singer’s “unexpected unavailability,” according to Twentieth Century Fox. Singer quashed rumors of unprofessionalism and instead accused the studio of denying him time to see “a gravely ill parent.”
Singer said in a statement:
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.
However, Singer’s lengthy absence created problems during production.
Malek ultimately reported Singer’s behavior to the studio, accusing the X-Men director of being unreliable and unprofessional.
Singer admits to clashing with Malek, but responded, “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.”
After Thanksgiving, Singer never returned to the set, remaining in the U.S. while production was halted in London. Cinematographer Thomas Newton Sigel reportedly directed while Singer was missing. The studio, tired of Singer’s absence, promptly fired him.
After Justice League, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and Solo: A Star Wars Story, Bohemian Rhapsody, with only two weeks left of principal photography, has become another victim of directorial musical chairs. A new director is expected to be announced this week while the film is still slated for a December 25 release.