By Mark Hodge (doddleNEWS)
Director Bryan Singer has been sacked from Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody after the “unprofessional” filmmaker frequently no-showed on set, and clashed with star Rami Malek.
Studio 20th Century Fox halted production on the troubled project on December 1, and is now searching for a new helmer with two weeks of shooting left to complete.
Fox said in a statement: “Bryan Singer is no longer the director of Bohemian Rhapsody,” reports The Hollywood Reporter.
Before Thanksgiving, the X-Men director is said to have had a heated exchange with Malek on set, who is playing legendary singer Freddie Mercury in the film. And while the row did not turn physical, it did lead to Singer “throwing an object,” according to THR.
The argument was reportedly sparked by Singer frequently not turning up for work, which the filmmaker claims was down to having a “a gravely ill parent.” After patching up his differences with Mr. Robot star Malek, Singer again did not return to the set following the Thanksgiving break. This lead to Fox dumping him.
His absences from the project led to cinematographer Thomas Newton Sigel, a long-time Singer collaborator, having to step into the role of director on a number of occasions. British actor Tom Hollander, who plays the iconic rock band’s manager Jim Beach, is also believed to have quit the movie over Singer’s behaviour but was persuaded to return, an insider told THR.
Golden Globe winner Malek also complained to Fox about The Usual Suspects director’s “unreliability and unprofessionalism,” according to the report. After a warning from studio bosses, a representative from the Directors Guild of America arrived on set to “monitor” the situation before Singer’s clash with the lead star.
Another source told THR that the filmmaker claims he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder following the calamitous episode. Singer released a statement in which he hinted that his own well-being had been impacted.
He said: “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.”