Bryan Singer, the director for the long-awaited Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, has reportedly been fired by Twentieth Century Fox, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Bryan Singer is no longer the director of Bohemian Rhapsody,” the studio said in a statement.
Production on the film had initially been shut down on December 1 after reports of Singer not returning to set after the Thanksgiving break, which resulted in cinematographer Thomas Newton Sigel having to step in.
“Twentieth Century Fox Film has temporarily halted production on Bohemian Rhapsody due to the unexpected unavailability of Bryan Singer,” the studio revealed in a Dec. 1 statement.
Singer’s rep had also released a statement saying that his absence was due to “a personal health matter concerning Bryan and his family” and that Singer had every intention of returning to the film after the holidays, however, that seems to be no longer the case.
In addition to being AWOL on set, there have been reports that the film’s star Rami Malek, who is playing Freddie Mercury, reportedly went directly to the studio to complain about Singer’s unreliable and unprofessional behavior, which resulted in some on-set tension between the two.
At the moment there is still about two more weeks of principal photography left on the film and a new director will hopefully be named in the next few days.
Updated: Dec. 5 with statement from Brian Singer
Shortly after the news of his firing broke, Singer released his own statement surrounding the stories about his sudden departure, including the fact that Fox was ‘unwilling’ to let him care for his ill parent.
Read the full statement below:
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. 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.
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