– by David Kozlowski

The highly-anticipated Freddie Mercury biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, starring Rami Malek (The Pacific, Mr. Robot), has just two weeks of principal photography remaining, but neither director Bryan Singer nor his Bad Hat Harry production company will bring it across the finish line.

As LRM (and everyone else on the internet) reported yesterday, Singer was fired from the project due to his erratic and unprofessional behavior. According to Deadline, now the entire Bad Hat Harry team has been booted off of the 20th Century Fox studio lot. Apparently, Singer had a first-look deal with Fox, which ended on Oct 31 (and was obviously not renewed). Absent a viable project, Fox sent them packing, effective immediately. Awkward.

Related – Bryan Singer Fired From Freddie Mercury Biopic

Fox is seeking a replacement director to finish the shoot, conduct reshoots, and oversee postproduction (editing, effects, music). So, while there’s only a couple weeks of photography remaining, there’s still a mountain of work required to get Bohemian Rhapsody in the can.

Singer issued a statement to express his side of the fight:

“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.”

As was widely reported when this story initially broke, Singer has a long-standing habit of no-shows and conflicts with cast and crew. So, while Singer’s explanation seems reasonable on the surface, it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. He continues:

“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.”

Ultimately, it’s tragic that Singer, a filmmaker with a deep and respected resume, would exit a high-profile project in such a manner. It’s also unfortunate for Malek, who’s built a career out of quirky, moody characters — Bohemian Rhapsody should be his big break, if it ever sees the light of day.

The project is now on hold until at least January while a director search ensues, and it’s fully expected that Bohemian Rhapsody will be completed and eventually hit theaters… but what should we expect from a film marked by controversy and multiple directors? Some films are strong enough to endure these problems, but it’s a dark footnote on the project that hopefully won’t harm its prospects upon release.

Do you plan to see Bohemian Rhapsody when it hits theaters, despite the controversy? Let us know in the comments down below!

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SOURCE: Deadline

  • Jeedai Infidel

    The Hollywood pervert purge continues. Have we all forgotten that Singer has been accused of inappropriate behavior with minors in the past? It’s no coincident that with the recent revelations in Hollywood that have brought on multiple investigations of sexual misconduct that Fox gives Singer the boot. It’s a smart move on Fox’s part to get ahead of what could be a huge scandal that would reflect badly on them as well. This way, regardless of what comes out about Singer or not, they can replace him with a respected director and move on.

  • oh_riginal

    Makes you wonder if Fox is trying to clean house just before selling to Disney. Hell, for all we know it could be part of the negotiations.

    Disney: We’re interested in buying, but you have to cut ties with certain parties. First, let’s discuss Bryan Singer and his company.

    Fox: Every trace of him will be put off the lot by the end of the day!

  • Moby85

    I think Singer was drunk off his own successes. I mean, his X-Men did kind of launch the whole modern Superhero genre (Apt Pupil is still my favorite Singer film, however). This guy is a B-grade director similar to Colin Trevarrow, who also got arrogant with his few successes. Notice a pattern?

    • Games

      He is not a B-Grade director. He has made Usual Suspects, Apt Pupil, Valkyrie, and the X-Men movies. This guy can direct with the best of them.

    • Victor Roa

      I tend to agree but I do think he adds something unique to the gay voice since he’s not glittery Rupaul he does produce House. But I’m amazed he did Usual Suspect 22 years ago.

  • Victor Roa

    I’m probably the biggest Queen fan…. and I kinda expect this is on par with Roland Emmerich’s Stonewall film. Queen is such a artistic band it’s more than “his childhood was rough, so he ran away, found the gay comunity and then learn to sing that one song and then died.” And that’s serviceable when the 4th director comes in to clean up, but what about like hanging out with your friends headbanging to “don’t stop me now” even though there’s that lyric “I’m gonna make a supersonic man out of you” but you can’t possibly care because the song is like lighting.

  • randomironicname

    I’m inclined to speculate that his story is BS. This seems like a pretty severe reaction if he were just going through a rough patch.

David Kozlowski is a writer, podcaster, and visual artist. A U.S. Army veteran, David worked 20 years in the videogame industry and is a graduate of Arizona State University's Film and Media Studies.