There is DRAMA afoot on the set of the hotly-anticipated Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, with studio bosses sensationally firing director Bryan Singer with mere weeks remaining in principal photography.
Singer was removed from the production amid what’s being described as on-set “chaos,” involving multiple prolonged and unexplained absences from Singer, and a clash between himself and film star Rami Malek.
The production was shut-down on December 1st, citing an “unexpected unavailability” from Singer. Now, The Hollywood Reporter states that Singer has been absent from the set on multiple occasions, forcing others to fill in on short-notice just to keep the production rolling.
Cinematographer Thomas Newton Sigel reportedly directed multiple days of the shoot when Singer was completely absent from the set.
Malek, who is playing Mercury, is said to have made multiple complaints to the studio about Singer’s unreliability, unprofessionalism, and outright absence from the film’s London-based set. Co-star Tom Hollander, who is playing long-time Queen manager Jim Beach in the biopic, also reportedly quit the film very briefly over Singer’s behaviour, before being persuaded to return.
The situation became so bad that Fox Studios officials issued formal warnings to Singer, and a representative from the Director’s Guild of America was sent to the set to monitor the situation.
Tensions between Malek and Singer culminated in a confrontation that, while not escalating to physicality, saw Singer reportedly throw a projectile at Malek.
Though the two are said to have patched up their differences following the break, Singer’s tenure at the film came to a grinding halt after the 52-year-old director failed to return to the set after the Thanksgiving break, choosing instead to remain in the US for at least 10 days.
This unexplained break was the final straw, forcing the studio to temporarily halt production and summarily fire Singer with just two weeks remaining in the film’s shooting schedule.
Twentieth Century Fox confirmed Singer’s removal in a very short, terse statement that simply read “Bryan Singer is no longer the director of Bohemian Rhapsody.”
The studio is expected to name a new director in the coming few days.