Bryan Singer Releases Statement on His BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY Firing and His Production Company Leaving FOX
Yesterday 20th Century Fox announced that they had fired director Bryan Singer from the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. This came after reports of the filmmaker not showing up for work and on-set drama. According to an insider, one of the reasons that Singer was fired was due to clashing with the film's star Rami Malek, who plays Freddie Mercury. There's also reports of the director throwing something at Malek in an argument that got out of control.
Since the announcement of Singer's firing, there's been a lot of speculation regarding possible sexual misconduct. But that doesn't seem to be the case here. Today Singer has released a statement telling his side of the story, saying his behavior involved health matters concerning one of his parents. It's also being reported that his production company has left the Fox lot. Here's the statement:
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. 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. 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.
So we've been presented with two sides of the story. What's interesting about this is that in the past there are previous reports of Singer vanishing from his sets, so apparently, this is nothing new. He has a long history of flaking out on his productions leaving his cast and crew hanging until he returns. Then there's the story that involves a sick parent, which, of course, he should get some time off if that's the case! But this seems to go beyond that.
With the studio firing him with only three weeks remaining, I still don't think we are getting the full story. That move puts the production on a longer more complicated hold as the studio will now need to find a new direction to finish the film. It would have been a lot easier to give Singer the time he needed off and then finish the project, but the studio didn't go that route, which tells me the studio was just fed up with Singer.
Reports also say that the director was warned of his behavior and things got so bad that representatives from the Director’s Guild of America were called to the set to monitor the situation. It got to the point where the crew of the film proceeded working on the movie for days without Singer there. Cinematographer Thomas Newton Sigel stepped in to direct some of the scenes while Singer was absent.
This whole thing just seems like a mess and it sounds like there were some major issues with Singer's behavior, regardless of the excuse of his sick parent. One thing is for sure... there was definitely a lack of communication between Singer and Fox!