Fox has tapped Dexter Fletcher as the new director of "Bohemian Rhapsody" to replace the fired Bryan Singer. Singer was sacked from the project December 4 after what the studio said were unexplained absences from the set, although the director countered that the studio refused to give him time off to care for an ill parent.
For his part, Singer accused Fox of refusing to give him time off to deal with health issues of one of his parents. Malek, who portrays Freddie Mercury, is also reported to have clashed with Singer on set.
Singer added that he wanted "nothing more" than to finish the project and honor the legacy of Queen, but the studio would not allow him time off to visit his parents.
Malek ultimately reported Singer's behavior to the studio, accusing the X-Men director of being unreliable and unprofessional.
However, his reputation has been called into question after the Harvey Weinstein allegations hit the mainstream press. The Hollywood Reporter writes that at one point Singer threw an object at Malek, who is set to play Freddie Mercury in the movie.
The director's representative said it was "a personal health matter concerning Bryan and his family". "Bryan Singer is no longer the director of Bohemian Rhapsody", said a brief statement from a 20th Century Fox spokesperson. "Unfortunately, the studio was unwilling to accommodate me and terminated my services".
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As of now, Bohemian Rhapsody is without a director, but no announcements have been made on the change of release date. This was not my decision and it was beyond my control...
With Fletcher now on board to finish the film, which has about two weeks of principal photography remaining, production is expected to start up again sometime next week. Fox did not elaborate on why it had fired Singer, but sources said that it was due to repeated failures to show up on the set.
"Bohemian Rhapsody is a passion project of mine", he continued.
The decision came off the back of numerous reports of escalating tension between Singer and Malek, who voiced his concerns to Fox about the filmmaker's "unreliability and unprofessionalism". "Bohemian Rhapsody" is now slated for release on December 25, 2018.
As well as directing, Singer is listed as a co-producer, alongside Queen's Brian May and Roger Taylor, among others.