After Fox fired Bryan Singer from the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, reports surfaced it was because the out director was behaving erratically, with unexplained disappearances and on-set blow ups with actor Rami Malek, who is playing Mercury.
“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,” he wrote. “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.”
Regarding any been with his star, Singer claimed the two had “creative differences” but had buried the hatchet.
“Rumors that my unexpected departure from the film was sparked by a dispute I had with Rami Malek are not true. 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.”
But the reports of bad blood were serious enough that representatives from Fox and the Directors Guild of America visited the film’s London set to monitor the situation. There may have been a reconciliation with Malek, but Singer’s disappearance after Thanksgiving was the final straw for Fox, which dealt with similar behavior during the filming of X-Men: Apocalypse.
Bohemian Rhapsody has indeed been a pet project of Singer’s for years, going through a number of leading men—including Sacha Baran Cohen and out actor Ben Whishaw.
“I wanted nothing more than to be able to finish this project and help honor the legacy of Freddie Mercury and Queen,” Singer concluded. “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.”
After his removal from the film, Singer’s production company, Bad Hat Harry, vacated its offices on the Twentieth Century Fox lot. (Singer had a three-year first-look deal with the studio that ended in October, but Bad Hat Harry was allowed to remain in the offices for the duration of the Rhapsody shoot.)
His removal from Bohemian Rhapsody comes just a month after Singer was accused of sexual assault by a man who claims the director made unwanted sexual advances on him when he was underage.
In 2014, actor Michael Egan filed suit, claiming Singer drugged and raped him in the late 1990s, when Egan was 17. (He later dropped his suit.)
Singer was accused of asking a 14-year-old extra and other minors to film a naked shower scene in Apt Pupil, but an ensuing lawsuit was dismissed.