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New report sheds light on why Bryan Singer was fired from Bohemian Rhapsody

Although Bryan Singer is still credited as the director of the soon-to-be-released BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, he wasn't the one to bring the film across the finish line. With just several weeks remaining on the project, 20th Century Fox fired Bryan Singer and tasked Dexter Fletcher (EDDIE THE EAGLE) with completing work on the Freddy Mercury biopic. As Fox was well aware of Bryan Singer's reputation for causing chaos on set, these events were perhaps inevitable, so why hire the director in the first place?

A new report from THR sheds a little more light on why the studio took the risk in hiring Bryan Singer and what led to his dismissal from the project. An insider noted to THR that Singer's inconsistent behavior goes back a number of years, but that some of the worst of it happened on the set of X-MEN: APOCALYPSE. The director was reportedly "emotionally very frail" and would often be late to set as well as unprepared and would sometimes cry when confronted about his behavior. He also had frequent visitors to the set which he flew in and out of town and put up in hotels. You would imagine that Fox wouldn't be eager for a repeat of this behavior, but they decided to take another chance on Bryan Singer as BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY was a passion project of his. After winning over the surviving band-members of Queen as well as producer Graham King, Singer was officially set to direct the film, but Fox CEO and chairman Stacey Snider made sure to lay down the law before approving the deal.

Fox chairman Stacey Snider had reservations based on what she'd heard about Singer's behavior on Apocalypse and other projects. Before approving the deal, she and studio vice chairman Emma Watts sat down for a talk with Singer and King, according to multiple sources. Snider didn't mince words, telling Singer: Don't break the law. Show up to work every day. Failure to comply will bring consequences.

It would seem that Stacey Snider's warning didn't have much effect as one insider told THR that Singer was "up to his old tricks" from the beginning. "He would shoot, he'd be exhausted, [cinematographer] Tom Sigel would shoot." We already know that tension was running quite high on the set, partly caused by Bryan Singer's frequent tardiness. There was also a report of an altercation between Bryan Singer and Rami Malek which prompted the studio to send several executives to investigate, but as production was nearing the end, they hoped that they'd simply be able to power through. In a statement to THR, Bryan Singer said, "Any discussion about fights between myself and Rami Malek are simply an exaggeration of a few creative differences that were quickly resolved. This is normal on a film set. And I think the work speaks for itself." Shortly before Thanksgiving, Singer asked the studio to pause production for several weeks so that he could return home, apparently to care for a "gravely ill parent," but the studio refused and Stacey Snider warned him not to get on a plane, but he didn't listen. Production was later shut down and Singer was soon fired.

"I put over a year and a half of my life and passion into the film Bohemian Rhapsody," Singer said in a statement to THR. "I'm also extremely proud of the finished product. There was a period at the end where I asked the studio to allow me to go home to deal with a parent who was sick. This was also affecting my own health. I felt we could finish up the few remaining days in January. The studio did not."

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY will hit theaters on November 2, 2018, so be sure to check out review from our own Paul Shirey and Chris Bumbray.

Source: THR

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