This has not been a great year for a handful of high-profile projects, which have seen directors coming and going – for various reasons – during critical moments of production, sometimes even during reshoots. Between Zack Snyder, Phil Lord & Chris Miller, and now Bryan Singer, this year has been characterized by chaos and gives no exception to the movie business, which has had a particularly disorganized year. Singer, who’s been directing the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody for Fox, was officially fired by the studio after the continued absence and reportedly erratic on-set behavior, and potential recent allegations.
The issues began when Singer stopped showing up to set on time, or at all, for extended periods of time. Apparently, he and star Rami Malek (Mr. Robot) got into some pretty heated arguments as a result, but the two patched things up in time for Thanksgiving break. However, even after their reconciliation, Singer failed to show up on-set following the break, and was subsequently fired by Fox, who claimed he’d been exhibiting similarly bizarre behavior during the production of 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse, another Fox production.
According to a statement from Singer in The Hollywood Reporter:
Denying he acted unprofessionally, Singer claimed the studio refused to allow him to tend to “a gravely ill parent,” as well as to his own health. “I wanted nothing more than to be able to finish this project and help honor the legacy of Freddie Mercury and Queen,” he said in a statement, “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.”
In his statement, Singer said, “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.”
The reports from set are a bit different, claiming the two had a pretty contentious relationship that, “while it did not become physical, did involve Singer throwing an object,” according to the write-up in The Hollywood Reporter. This is a pretty big deal for the parties involved. Not only is the production in disarray, but Fox is severing ties with a director they’ve worked with for almost two decades, which could be a result of the continued allegations against him. Singer first came to Fox in 2000 to direct X-Men. Since then, he’s directed three more X-Men movies and an episode of Fox’s The Gifted this year.
As a result, Singer’s production company – Bad Hat Harry – is vacating their space on Fox’s studio lot. Although their contract with Fox expired in October and was not renewed, they were granted an extension that allowed them to stay until Bohemian Rhapsody wrapped production, but decided to leave early in the wake of Singer’s firing.
Earlier this week 20th Century Fox announced that Eddie The Eagle director Dexter Fletcher would step in to finish principal photography on the film. The filmmaker will then oversee post-production as Fox hopes to keep the film on track for December 2018. Fletcher is set to direct an Elton John biopic, making the last couple of weeks of shooting on Bohemian Rhapsody a perfect warmup. Fletcher started as an actor in the early days of Guy Ritchie’s career with Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels as well as Matthew Vaughn films like Layer Cake and Stardust. Singer’s name must contractually appear as the credited director due to DGA rulings.
Images: Fox, Toronto Sun
Source: The Hollywood Reporter