Freddie Mercury biopic director Bryan Singer canned

Director Bryan Singer. Ahn Young-Joon, AP.

The Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody had its production halted when director Bryan Singer failed to show up after a Thanksgiving break. Yesterday, 20th Century Fox canned Singer.

There are conflicting stories about the reasons for the firing. Sources told The Hollywood Reporter (THR) that Singer had clashed with actor Rami Malek, who is playing the legendary Mercury.  The source said that Singer had even once thrown an object at Malek.

An “insider” told THR that Singer had claimed he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder caused by tensions on the set.

Singer offered a different scenario to THR in a statement saying he was dealing with “pressing health matters concerning one of my parents.”

Bohemian Rhapsody is a passion project of mine,” Singer said in a statement. “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 acknowledged that he and Malek had “creative differences” but had resolved them.

“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.”

“But the reports of bad blood were serious enough that representatives from Fox and the Directors Guild of America visited the film’s London set to monitor the situation. There may have been a reconciliation with Malek, but Singer’s disappearance after Thanksgiving was the final straw for Fox, which dealt with similar behavior during the filming of X-Men: Apocalypse,” reported

Fox’s statement about the action was brief: “Bryan Singer is no longer the director of Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Singer had been warned by top Fox Film executives not to engage in any unprofessional behavior before production of the biopic began, according to THR. “Singer has been accused in the past of misconduct and erratic behavior, which apparently influenced the added attention to behavioral issues involving his hiring for the Freddie Mercury film.”

In 2014, an anonymous British man accused Singer of sexually abusing him as a minor. There have been other allegations in the past. However, there was no indication that his firing had anything to do with those allegations.

Copyright The Gayly – December 5, 2017 @ 4:55 p.m. CST.