The Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody has had an arduous journey on its road to the big screen. The newest hurdle has been seeing the film's director get fired. Now, that director is speaking out. While the word coming out of Bryan Singer's firing was that it was due to the director's repeated clashes with star Rami Malek, and that he was "unavailable" on the set on several occasions. Singer claims that the reason for his unavailability was that he needed to deal with important health matters for one of his parents, and that Fox refused to give him the time off to do so. According to Singer...
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.
When production on Bohemian Rhapsody originally closed down due to Bryan Singer's absence from the set, the reason given was due to a health matter concerning Singer and his family. Apparently, Singer is confirming that original word to be the real story. This seemingly contradicts a recent report that the primary catalyst for the director's firing was an ongoing conflict between Singer and actor Rami Malek who plays Freddie Mercury in the upcoming film. That news came from The Hollywood Reporter, leading Singer to send them his statement of what really happened. As far as the rumored conflict, Singer downplays it, claiming that while there were disagreements, the two were able to work together professionally without a problem.
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.
To be fair, none of this necessarily contradicts the earlier reports. The original word of the conflict on the set of Bohemian Rhapsody reportedly led to an ultimatum for Bryan Singer from Fox, that then resulted in his firing only after he did not return to the set after Thanksgiving. If the reason for his not returning was this family health issue, then it appears that was the ultimate reason for the firing, even if the on-set altercations had been the initial problem.
According to Bryan Singer, there were only about three weeks left in production on Bohemian Rhapsody. There's no word who will be finishing up filming, though we'll probably learn that shortly.