Bryan Singer has been fired from the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, Twentieth Century Fox has told The Hollywood Reporter.
The decision reflected a growing clash between Singer and actor Rami Malek and was caused by Singer’s being missing from the set, necessitating the Dec. 1 production shut-down of the film in which Malek stars as Freddie Mercury, frontman of the rock group Queen, which has been shooting in London.
In announcing the shut down last week, producers Fox, New Regency and Graham King initially said filming was being suspended because of Singer’s “unexpected unavailability.”
Trouble began when Singer went absent during production on several occasions. His no-shows resulted in cinematographer Thomas Newton Sigel having to step in to helm some of the days while Singer was missing.
Tom Hollander, who plays Queen manager Jim Beach, also is said to have briefly quit the film because of Singer’s behavior, but was persuaded to return, according to one source.
Malek complained to the studio, charging Singer with not being present on set, unreliability and unprofessionalism.
Singer had been warned before production began by both Fox Film chairman and CEO Stacey Snider and Fox Film vice chairman and president of production Emma Watts that they wouldn’t tolerate any unprofessional behavior on his part. A representative from the Directors Guild of America also arrived on set to monitor the situation.
The growing tension led to a confrontation between Singer and Malek, which, while it did not become physical between the two did involve Singer throwing an object. Subsequently, however, the two are said to have settled their differences and filming was expected to resume.
But then Singer did not return to the set after the Thanksgiving break and is believed to have been in the U.S. for about the last ten days, according to one source. In his absence, Sigel stepped in to helm several days of shooting before the production was shut down. Singer’s prolonged absence was the final straw, and so the studio decided to terminate him under his pay-or-play contract.
According to another insider, Singer has claimed he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder because of the tensions on the set.
The studio, which has about two more weeks of principal photography remaining on the film, is expected to name a new director within the next few days.
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.