Bohemian Rhapsody: Director Bryan Singer Fired

Director Bryan Singer, best known for the X-Men movies, seems to be going from one scandal to another.

First, there were accusations of sexual misconduct on movie sets and off, some dating back to the late 1990s.  Then USC students have demanded through a petition to remove his name from the school’s film division.

Today, Fox announced that it has fired Bryan Singer as director of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” three days after his repeated absences from the set had halted production.

“Bryan Singer  is no longer the director of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’” the studio said Monday.

The studio terminated Singer under the “pay or play” provision of his contract, sources indicated, due to his repeated failures to show up on the set. A new director has not been named.

Filming has been taking place in London with “Mr. Robot” star Rami Malek in the lead role as Freddie Mercury, the front man for the group Queen.

New Regency and GK Films are the production companies. The producers are Graham King, Singer, and Jim Beach, Queen’s longtime manager. Denis O’Sullivan, Arnon Milchan, and Jane Rosenthal are exec producers.

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, did involve Singer throwing an object. Subsequently, however, the two are said to have settled their differences and filming was expected to resume.

Singer did not return to the set after the Thanksgiving break and is believed to have been in the U.S.  In his absence, Sigel stepped in to helm several days of shooting before the production was shut down.

Singer’s prolonged absence motivated the studio decided to terminate him under his pay-or-play contract.

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 soon.