Bohemian Rhapsody, the Freddie Mercury biopic starring Rami Malek as the Queen frontman, has just suffered a major production setback. Bryan Singer (X-Men: Apocalypse) has just been fired from directing the film, which has been in production for the past few months. According to new reports, a hostile work environment, combined with Singer’s constant absence on set and clashes with the cast, may have been the contributing factors to the director’s firing. Now Fox is forced to look for his replacement. More on the story below.
THR was the first to report on Singer’s firing. This past weekend, there were various reports stating that the director had failed to appear on set multiple times. However, it appears that the decision to let Singer go was due to the clashes between him and Malek. Though these arguments were reportedly heated, they never got physical. But there are unconfirmed reports of Singer throwing items at Malek.
It appears though as if Singer was displaying this odd behavior throughout the production. For one thing, “Malek complained to the studio, charging Singer with not being present on set, unreliability, and unprofessionalism.” Even Tom Hollander, who plays Queen manager Jim Beach, quit the film due to Singer’s constant absence. But one source tells THR that he was persuaded to return. It’s a stark difference to back in September when the first set photos came out and the cast and crew spoke enthusiastically about the project.
Some of the Fox execs had already warned Singer that they would not tolerate that kind of “unprofessional” behavior. A representative from the Directors Guild of America also arrived on set to monitor the situation.
This wouldn’t be the first time that a director left a film in the midst of production. Zack Snyder was forced to hand off his post-production responsibilities for Justice League to Joss Whedon in order to deal with a family tragedy, while Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired from Solo: A Star Wars Story due to creative differences.
However, this appears to be a different animal entirely. Another source said Singer, who has not been seen since Thanksgiving break, has been in the U.S. for the past ten days. It’s unclear why that bit of information needed to be added. However, Singer has been involved in some controversy. He has been accused of sexual misconduct in the past, with people now speculating that he could be accused of that once again.
Thomas Newton Sigel, the film’s cinematographer, had been filling in for Singer during his absence. However, Fox will be looking for a new director to complete the remaining two weeks of filming. We will keep you posted on the news as it progresses.