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X-Men and Usual Suspects director Bryan Singer has been asked to leave the upcoming Freddie Mercury biopic, which halted in it’s production last week.
Singer reportedly failed to return to the film’s set after Thanksgiving, due to a “personal health matter concerning Bryan and his family,” and now 20th Century Fox have removed him from the project, and confirmed that he is no longer the film’s director.
The Hollywood Reporter suggests that Mr Robot star Rami Malek, who will play Mercury in the film, complained to the studio about the conduct and alleged “unprofessionalism” of Singer, with the actor and director reportedly involved in a number of altercations.
Singer himself has issued a statement in regard to his departure, 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.
“Rumors that my unexpected departure from the film was sparked by a dispute I had with Rami Malek are not true,” said the director. “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.”
This is not the first instance of production issues on the film, and issue date as far back as 2010, when Borat creator Sacha Baron Cohen was initially announced as, writer, director, and star of the film. Baron Cohen left the project in the summer of 2013, reportedly due to issues between he and the band itself, who maintained control of both script and director. Upon his departure, Baron Cohen described Queen guitarist Brian May as an “amazing musician”, but “not a great movie producer.”
Bryan Singer: Mud On His Face, A Big Disgrace https://t.co/6XodG8rVjs
— Jason Lipshutz (@jasonlipshutz) December 4, 2017
20th Century Fox are yet to respond to Singer’s statement, but are thought to be looking to name a new director in the coming days. Bohemian Rhapsody’s released date remains slated for December 25 2018.