Earlier today, Twentieth Century Fox fired Bryan Singer as the director of its forthcoming Freddie Mercury biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody. The studio cited Singer’s abrasive behavior, which came to a head when he allegedly threw an object at the film’s star, Rami Malek. Singer also failed to show up to the film’s set following the Thanksgiving holiday.
A representative for the director said he had taken a leave of absence due to “a personal health matter concerning Bryan and his family.” Singer was also said to be suffering from “post-traumatic stress disorder” resulting from the tensions on the set.
Now, Singer has shared his side of the story in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. The director said one of his parents is gravely ill and he asked Fox for time off, a request which they apparently denied.
“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,” Singer wrote.
“Bohemian Rhapsody is a passion project of mine,” he added. “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.”
Singer also addressed his relationship with Malek, saying, “Rumors that my unexpected departure from the film was sparked by a dispute I had with Rami Malek are not true. While, at times, we did have creative differences on set, Rami and I successfully put those differences behind us and continued to work on the film together until just prior to Thanksgiving.”
Fox intends to find a new director within the coming days to finish the final two weeks of principal photography. A release date for the film was previously announced for December 25th, 2018.