Bryan Singer has released a statement in response to the news of his removal as director of the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. According to the director, the claims against him have gotten way out of hand. Here is his statement in full, courtesy of THR:
“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… 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.”
Following the news of Singer’s removal from Bohemian Rhapsody, it was later rumored that Singer was incredibly difficult to work with on set for the film. Sources stated that Singer was often late for filming, and had frequent clashes with star Rami Malek. Following the Thanksgiving holiday, the director never returned to set, something which allegedly also happened during the filming of both X-Men: Apocalypse, and Superman Returns.
Who to believe here? Given the current climate in Hollywood, it’s honestly tough to say. Directors, producers, and actors are increasingly getting outed for appalling behavior on and off set. However, directors leave projects all the time for personal reasons; a recent example being Zack Snyder taking stepping away from Justice League due to a personal tragedy. Most important is that we don’t know who the sources are making these claims against Bryan Singer, and although this isn’t the first time the director has attracted controversy, it may be best to wait before jumping to any conclusions.
Bohemian Rhapsody will chart the rise of the British rock band Queen through to their iconic Live Aid performance in 1985. It is set for release on December 25th 2018 in the States and December 28th 2018 in the UK and features a cast that includes Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury, Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor, Gwilym Lee as Brian May, Joe Mazzello as John Deacon, Lucy Boynton as Mary Austin, Aaron McCusker as Jim Hutton, Aidan Gillen as John Reid, Tom Hollander as Jim Beach, Allen Leech as Paul Prenter and Mike Myers in an as-yet-unrevealed role.