In news that came as very little surprise, 20th Century Fox gave director Bryan Singer the boot last night from their upcoming Freddie Mercury biopic. The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Singer is no longer attached to helm Bohemian Rhapsody, after his erratic behavior allegedly brought production to a standstill late last week. Now, however, the director has released his own statement on the matter, and he tells a very different story.
As you’ve surely heard, filming on the starry pic, which sees Mr. Robot‘s Rami Malek as the late Queen frontman, was expected to resume after Thanksgiving. But Singer’s “unexpected unavailability” meant cinematographer Thomas Newton Sigel was forced to assume directorial duties for a number of days, leaving Fox with little choice but to remove Bryan Singer from his post.
The decision came off the back of numerous reports of escalating tension between Singer and Malek, who voiced his concerns to Fox about the filmmaker’s “unreliability and unprofessionalism.” According to the former, though, he had asked for some time off to deal with health issues concerning one of his parents, something which took a “serious toll” on his own health, too, and if Singer’s to be believed, the studio was unwilling to accommodate his request.
“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.”
While we don’t doubt Singer’s claims about the health matters concerning one of his parents and himself, we’re also inclined to believe those earlier reports of his erratic actions on set. After all, this is by no means the first time that the director’s’s behavior has been called into question. Over the past decade, multiple sexual assault allegations have been made against the former X-Men director – Jessica Chastain, for instance, recently highlighted past accusations lodged against Bryan Singer – though there’s been no mention of any fresh allegations at press time.
Meanwhile, 20th Century Fox is hoping to keep its high-profile Queen biopic on track for a December 2018 release, and insiders claim that the studio has already begun casting the net in search of a replacement. Word is that Bohemian Rhapsody has another two weeks left of principal photography, before entering a lengthy post-production process. That’s on top of potential reshoots, so this is by no means an easy gig.
Hopefully, we’ll get an update from the studio soon on who they’ve chosen to replace Singer, but until that time comes, take to the comments section down below and let us know if you’ve got anyone in mind!