Bryan Singer has been fired from the long-gestating Queen movie ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ for reported ‘unreliable behaviour.’
A very short statement from Twentieth Century Fox confirmed that Singer has had his contract terminated. It simply read: “Bryan Singer is no longer the director of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.”
A source told the BBC the primary reason for Singer’s axing was "a pattern of unreliable behaviour on the set".
In response, Singer has issued a statement via his attorney, which reads: “Bohemian Rhapsody is a passion project of mine. With fewer than three weeks to shoot remaining, I asked Fox for some time off so I could return to the U.S. 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.”
Rami Malek © PA Images
Singer also rubbished tabloid reports that he had a fallout with Rami Malek, who plays Freddie Mercury in the film.
He added: “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.
“I wanted nothing more than to be able to finish this project and help honor the legacy of 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.”
Over the weekend, it emerged that Singer had become “unexpectedly unavailable” after he failed to return to set after the Thanksgiving holiday.
His absence was due “a personal health matter concerning Bryan and his family,” according to a representative for the acclaimed X-Men director.
Twentieth Century Fox added at the time: “Twentieth Century Fox Film has temporarily halted production on Bohemian Rhapsody due to the unexpected unavailability of Bryan Singer.”
Filming on Bohemian Rhapsody began in London in September. Alongside Malek, Ben Hardy (as Roger Taylor), Joe Mazzello (John Deacon) and Gwilym Lee (Brian May) were cast as Queen’s other members.
Roger Taylor and Brian May are serving as executive producers on the movie and Brian has shared a series of behind-the-scenes photos from the shoot on social media in recent months.
Roger and Brian said of Bryan Singer shortly after he was drafted in: “(Bryan is) a perfect choice to recreate the fabulous Queen years which brought us such unforgettable moments as Live Aid, which we can reveal will be faithfully recreated for a key sequence the film.”
Way back in September 2010, Sacha Baron Cohen was originally confirmed to play Freddie Mercury in the film but he dropped out in July 2013 citing “creative differences” between himself and the band. Dominic Cooper was later rumoured to play Freddie, however this never materialised.
‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is still expected to be released in December 2018.