Production company 20th Century Fox on Monday fired director Bryan Singer from Bohemian Rhapsody, the biopic on British rock band Queen, Variety reported. A new director has not yet been announced. Bohemian Rhapsody is scheduled to be released on December 25, 2018.
In a statement, Singer claimed that he was removed from the film after Fox refused to give him time off to attend to his ailing parent. “Bohemian Rhapsody is a passion project of mine,” Singer said in the statement. “With fewer than three weeks to shoot remaining, I asked Fox for some time off so I could return to the US 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.”
Fox had announced on December 1 that the production on the film had been halted due to Singer’s “unexpected availability”.
The Hollywood Reporter said that Singer had been absent from set on many occasions, according to its sources, and cinematographer Thomas Newton Sigel had to step in for him. There had also been speculation of trouble between Singer and Rami Malek, who plays Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. The actor had reportedly complained that Singer was unreliable and unprofessional.
However, the director denied this. “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,” Singer added.
Singer has previously directed The Usual Suspects (1995), four X-Men movies including X- Men: Apocalypse (2016), and Superman Returns (2006).
Bohemian Rhapsody is being filmed in London and also stars Ben Hardy as drummer Roger Taylor. Gwilym Lee as Brian May, the band’s lead guitarist, and Joe Mazzello as bass guitarist John Deacon.