Freddie Mercury biopic replaces director Bryan Singer

Getty Images

Getty Images

The director instead argues he was terminated because Fox would not let him deal with the grave illness of one of his parents.

Dexter Fletcher, once upon a time the director in the running to make the film in the first place, is to take over from Bryan Singer on the Queen and Freddie Mercury biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody. "This was not my decision and it was beyond my control", he had said. "I wanted nothing more than to be able to finish this project and help honor the legacy of 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 also said that rumors that his departure was sparked by a dispute with Rami Malek, who portrays Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in the film, were untrue.

The studio is expected to announce a replacement director later this week.

While they successfully settled their differences, as Singer claimed in his statement, the director tested Malek and the studio's patience once more by his no-show after Thanksgiving, which led to his firing.

The studio terminated Singer under the "pay or play" provision of his contract, sources indicated, due to his repeated failures to show up on the set. The interesting wrinkle now will be whose name appears in the director's credit.

After Justice League, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and Solo: A Star Wars Story, Bohemian Rhapsody, with only two weeks left of principal photography, has become another victim of directorial musical chairs. But he dropped out soon after, with reports claiming he "did not see eye to eye" with producer Graham King.

Production was shut down on December 1 for these reasons, though at the time Fox released a statement citing Singer's "unexpected unavailability". The movie is being directed by Bryan Singer, and we were being told that Singer was stepping back from the production.

Singer was sacked from the film on Monday, with reports noting that his termination came about due to his "unreliability" and "unprofessionalism". 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.

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