Home Entertainment Bryan Singer fired from Queen biopic mid-production

Bryan Singer fired from Queen biopic mid-production

4 min read

This may a bit too soon or too harsh, but I guess another one bites the dust? Over the weekend past reports started emerging that production on Bohemian Rhapsody, the upcoming Queen biopic starring Rami Malek as the legendary British rock band’s frontman, Freddie Mercury, had been suspended due to director Bryan Singer’s “unexpected unavailability”. The official reason given for said unavailability was that Singer had to attend to a health issue in his family. Now, however, a new report has emerged from The Hollywood Reporter that claims that Singer has in fact been fired.

Bohemian Rhapsody has had a tumultuous production from the start. For the longest time, Sacha Baron Cohen was attached to star as the late Mercury, but the British actor eventually had a very public exit after clashes with remaining band members who were also executive producers on the film – they wanted a glossed over, fairytale version of Mercury’s life whereas he wanted a factual, warts and all approach.

Whatever the approach that was settled on in Baron-Cohen’s absence, Singer would board the production soon after and tap Mr Robot breakout star Rami Malek as the new Mercury. Besides for some pics of Malek as Mercury though, we haven’t seen or heard anything about the production as everything appeared to just be chugging along. Appearances were apparently very deceiving though.

According to this new report, Singer had been absent from the production several times which led to cinematographer Thomas Newton Sigel having to step in unexpectedly on numerous occasions to take on the role of director. Singer’s conduct upset the cast to the point that actor Tom Hollander, who plays Queen manager Jim Beach, briefly quit the film before being persuaded to return.

Production studio Fox, who had worked with Singer for most of his career on the X-Men films, had reportedly warned the filmmaker when he was hired that no unprofessional behaviour would be tolerated on the production as it needed to make its 2018 deadline after numerous delays. This led Malek to report Singer to the higher-ups at Fox, which led to tension between the actor and director. Tension which seemingly escalated to the point of Singer throwing an unspecified object in anger during an on-set confrontation – this would be just one of many clashes which prompted Fox to call a break as the two men settled their differences. This seemingly happened, but then Singer failed to return to work at the British based production after the Thanksgiving Holiday.

One Source claims that Singer had returned home to the USA for 10 days during this period with the director claiming that he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the on-set tensions. Whatever the reason, Fox had had enough and fired Singer under the pay-or-play terms of his contract.

With two more weeks of principal photography still left, it’s expected that Fox will announce a new director soon to finish the film. Fox appear to be confident that they will still make the film’s December 2018 release date despite what will now obviously be a delay in post-production.

As to what prompted Singer’s initial absences from set that sparked off all of this, there’s no word. This is some speculation on my part though. It has to be pointed out that Singer has faced his fair share of sexual controversy over the years, having been accused of sexual abuse and even rape of a minor several times in his career with constant rumours swirling surrounding him and fellow director Roland Emmerich hosting debaucherous sex parties frequented by underage minors. All the resultant court cases against him have either been dismissed or settled but with Hollywood currently being gripped by shocking sexual assault allegations in the wake of Harvey Weinstein’s very public fall, there’s been a renewed interest in Singer’s alleged transgressions. Online buzz surrounding this has even prompted Singer to delete his social media accounts recently.

I think it’s a safe assumption to make that Singer has been rattled by the recent swathe of victims stepping forward to oust their alleged abusers on an unprecedented level for Hollywood. Could this have led to his apparent unprofessional behaviour and absences on Bohemian Rhapsody? It’s hard not to see the correlation. Whatever the cause, for now the film’s production has come to a standstill again.

Last Updated: December 5, 2017


  1. Quite the tumultuous career, this guy has had.
    First he gives us awesome Xmen movies.
    Then he gives us crappy XMen movies.

    And now he nearly ruins Queen.


  2. Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

    December 5, 2017 at 09:57

    Very strange that all of a sudden, lots of very wealthy, influential, showbiz top execs and directors are being accused of misconduct.

    Strange indeed.


    • Kervyn Cloete

      December 5, 2017 at 12:24

      It’s not strange. These accusations are not new, these folks were just previously protected and thus bullied their victims into silence. When somebody as powerful as Weinstein was brought down by an in-depth expose though, it suddenly made people realize that the protection wasn’t as consummate as these folks had their victims believe.


      • Original Heretic

        December 5, 2017 at 12:50

        There’s more to it than that. I know, I’ve said it before, but I am not convinced that it was a simple thing like that.


        • Kervyn Cloete

          December 5, 2017 at 13:07

          It wasn’t a simple thing. It took a damn long time for that expose to be put together with shit loads of people contributing to it. Nobody flipped a switch and then it was “Engage Hunt Mode”. There was a series of events that all snowballed into the next until it reached tipping point.

          The atmosphere of change was starting to come along already after all the attention put on Hollywood with whitewashing and gender equality in movies. The latter was an especially prevalent hot topic. Then Weinstein happened and inspired by that Alyssa Milano’s #MeToo Twitter campaign and Rose McGowan’s own social media protest really stoked the flames. That prompted some other big celebs who people will listen to (not just some no-name starlet trying to make it in Tinsel Town) to step forward and point fingers, which fanned things even further. When Spacey, whom many folks had seen as a beloved figure, was brought low, it showed that nobody was immune and then we truly had a conflagration on our hands.

          This was never one single moment that you can point at and say “There! I can see the shadowy hand pulling the strings!”. It was a series of moments that has been building up for a couple of years now. Just like Trump’s Presidency provided some folks the legitimacy and vindication they seeked in publicly airing their views, so too Weinstein’s victims stepping forward and seeing positive results did the same for the many that had been abused in the past and forced to keep silent.

          Do I think every single accusation that’s been made is legitimate? Of course not. There are always going to be people trying to win their 15 mins of fame off the stained coattails of somebody else. But for the vast majority of these, these are nothing more than previous veiled whispers of shame that have finally been turned into shouts of protest.


          • Original Heretic

            December 5, 2017 at 13:20

            I get that reasoning and I do not dispute it whatsoever.
            But it also feels like it’s just the surface, that there’s more going on at a deeper level.
            Some theories are stating that Weinstein is no longer profitable, hence his sudden “lack of protection” in the face of all this adversity.
            There are wilder theories out there and yes, many do delve into some hectic conspiracy theory crap (one of them even postulates that his fall from grace came about because he’s making an anti-vaxxer movie with Robert De Niro and that the Big Pharma are the ones behind his “fall”).

            Looking at the resources he had at his disposal to squelch these stories (a security firm that employs ex-Mossad agents), it just feels highly unlikely that this story was even allowed to surface without someone unknown power in unHolyWood allowing it to happen.

            Once it got out and started trending, then, yeah, it got a life of its own and there was no going back. The arrow was released from the bow and Harvey’s head was in the crosshairs.
            From there, yes, people were a lot more willing to come forward and reporters were a lot more willing to listen.

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