The Jakarta Post
Bryan Singer is no longer the director of 'Bohemian Rhapsody,' a biopic on legendary rock band Queen. (shutterstock.com/ Phil Stafford/File)
Bryan Singer is no longer the director of Bohemian Rhapsody, a biopic on legendary rock band Queen, 20th Century Fox announced on Monday.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the news followed an escalating clash between lead actor Rami Malek (who portrays Freddie Mercury in the film) and Singer caused by the latter’s frequent absence on set.
In fact, Fox had suspended production of the film on Friday, citing Singer’s “unexpected unavailability.”
Singer responded by claiming the studio refused to allow him to tend to a “gravely ill parent,” as well as his own well-being.
“I wanted nothing more than to be able to finish this project and help honor the legacy of Freddie Mercury and Queen,” he said in a statement. “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.”
As a result of Singer’s no-shows, cinematographer Thomas Newton Sigel has had to step in with directing the Queen biopic.
Tom Hollander, who plays Queen manager Jim Beach, reportedly quit the film briefly because of Singer’s behavior, but was quickly persuaded to return.
The director had been forewarned by Fox Film chairman and CEO Stacey Snider and Fox Film vice chairman and president of production Emma Watts, who told him they would not stand for any unprofessional behavior.
A representative from the Directors Guild of America was appointed to monitor the situation.
A source told The Hollywood Reporter that Singer was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the tensions that developed between him and Malek on set.
In his statement, Singer denied rumors that his departure was because of “creative differences” with the actor.
The studio is expected to name a new director shortly, and the film is expected to be released in December 2018 as planned. (afr/kes)