There are many in the industry who believed filmmaker and producer Bryan Singer would be the subject of a wave of news reports, but the announcement that 20th Century Fox shut down his Freddie Mercury and Queen Biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” wasn’t the expected reason why.
In a statement to the media, Fox said only the following: “Twentieth Century Fox Film has temporarily halted production on Bohemian Rhapsody due to the unexpected unavailability of Bryan Singer.”
A representative for Singer told the BBC the absence was due to “a personal health matter concerning Bryan and his family.”
First Look: Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’
No matter the case, Singer has clearly tested the patient of the studio and the film’s star, Rami Malek. The current stoppage of production is because Singer did not return to the set after the Thanksgiving holiday, but there have been rumblings of other issues for some time. Reports indicate Singer was routinely not showing up to the set on time and that during one unexplained absence cinematographer and longtime Singer collaborator Newton Thomas Sigel directed in his absence. Moreover, sources say Singer pulled the same stunts on not only “Superman Returns” (well documented before this), but “X-Men: Apocalypse” as well.
It’s unclear if Fox will wait for Singer to return or replace him with another director. At one point Bill Condon was attached to direct a Freddie Mercury biopic when Sasha Baron Cohen was attached, but creative differences developed between producer Graham King. The remaining living band members of Queen also have a huge say regarding who directs the picture and the cast. The current incarnation is based off a script by Anthony McCarten who wrote “The Theory of Everything” and “Darkest Hour,” currently in theaters.
Singer recently shut down his twitter handle, but his instagram account was active up to a week ago. His last post being a photo of Freddie Mercury at age 45.
It should also be noted that with the wave of sexual assault and harassment allegations in Hollywood over the past six weeks or so Singer’s name has inevitably appeared because of accusations against him publicly in 1997 and in 2014. None other than Jessica Chastain tweeted the following on Nov. 3.
Let us not forget https://t.co/0TNDxl8h1Q
— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) November 4, 2017
Whether those cases have anything to do with Singer’s current absence remains to be seen.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” is still currently schedule for release on Dec. 25, 2018.