According to The Hollywood Reporter, Singer failed to return to the set after the Thanksgiving holiday. A representative for the director told the BBC that his absence is due to “a personal health matter concerning Bryan and his family.” Sources close to the production paint a different picture, however, telling THR that Singer has repeatedly clashed with the cast and crew, including Rami Malek, who is playing Mercury. He also failed to show up on set once before, forcing a cinematographer to step in and direct for the day.
Producers for the film have reportedly discussed replacing Singer, according to THR. They’ll have to make a decision soon, as the release date is announced for December 25th, 2018.
Singer’s disappearance is just the latest hiccup for a film that has been besieged with problems over the course of its multi-year development. Prior to Singer’s involvement, Sacha Baron Cohen was attached to write, direct, and star in the film. However, he later distanced himself from the project, citing serious clashes with the original band members, who reportedly wanted to film a PG-rated movie which avoided the darker aspects of Mercury’s life.