With around two weeks left of principal photography, 20th Century Fox has fired director Bryan Singer from Bohemian Rhapsody.
BBC had reported on December 1 that “a personal health matter” had pushed the director, whose credits include The Usual Suspects and four X-Men films, to leave the set of the Queen/Freddie Mercury biopic, titled Bohemian Rhapsody. The director’s absence left the London production unexpectedly in limbo.
Well, it appears that there was a lot more than a health matter affecting the set. THR reports that Singer had gone missing from set on several occasions and had clashed with both lead actor Rami Malek (the Mr. Robot star is playing Mercury) and co-star Tom Hollander (playing Queen manager Jim Beach), leading to Fox’s announcement today: “Bryan Singer is no longer the director of Bohemian Rhapsody.”
The tension between Singer and Malek had reportedly escalated to the point where Singer threw an object on set, but the clashes didn’t become physical. Malek went to Fox with complaints about the director, citing the filmmaker for “not being present on set, unreliability and unprofessionalism.” Hollander even quit for a brief period, but was apparently persuaded to return.
Things between Singer and Malek two had apparently cooled off and the two were expected to get back to work, but Singer didn’t return to set following the Thanksgiving break, which left his long-time cinematographer Thomas Newton Sigel having to take the helm for a number of days.
Singer has reportedly exhibited troubling behaviour on prior sets, and Fox had attempted to avoid a repeat performance here. As THR reports:
Singer had been warned before production began by both Fox Film chairman and CEO Stacey Snider and Fox Film vice chairman and president of production Emma Watts that they wouldn’t tolerate any unprofessional behaviour on his part. A representative from the Directors Guild of America also arrived on set to monitor the situation.
But to no avail.
Singer is apparently now claiming that he is suffering from PTSD following the tensions he experienced on the set of the biopic.
Fox is expected to announce a new director in the next few days. Stay tuned.