AceShowbiz - Bryan Singer has responded to accusations he was fired by 21th Century Fox for being unreliable and unprofessional on the set of Queen biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody". In his defense, through his lawyer Andrew Brettler, the director stated that the studio terminated him after he prioritized the health of an ailing parent over his film.
"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 said on Monday, December 4 following his firing earlier on that day.
Production on the film was halted on Friday, December 1, with a rep for Singer saying that a family health matter pulled him away. Fox confirmed the unplanned hiatus, citing only the helmer's "unexpected unavailability." When report of Singer's firing emerged earlier Monday, sources said the decision to remove Singer from the project was caused by his troubling behavior which stemmed mostly from prolonged absences and lateness.
In his statement, Singer explained that he "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."
Reps for the studio have yet to respond to Singer's statement. Both Fox CEO Stacey Snider and production president Emma Watts allegedly had warned the helmer that bad behavior would not be tolerated on set. The biopic's lead actor Rami Malek allegedly complained to the studio about the helmer's behavior, which was also said to be the reason behind Tom Hollander's brief exit.
However, in his statement, Singer denied he had tension with Malek, who plays Freddie Mercury in the biopic. "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," the helmer explained.
The studio is expected to name a new director for the upcoming film in the coming days. "Bohemian Rhapsody" is still on track for a December 2018 release in the United States.