Bryan Singer fired from directing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ but it’s not what you think

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As we discussed over the weekend, Bryan Singer mysteriously disappeared from filming Bohemian Rhapsody after Thanksgiving. Singer has been filming the movie in London for several months, and he hasn’t been on set since before Thanksgiving. Many believed that Singer had “gone dark” because he knew he was going to be the subject of some tell-all exposé about the long-standing rumors of his penchant for using and abusing teenage boys. I kept thinking on Monday that the exposé would drop at any moment. Instead, this happened:

Bryan Singer has been fired from the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, Twentieth Century Fox has told THR.

“Bryan Singer is no longer the director of Bohemian Rhapsody,” the studio said in a statement. The decision reflected a growing clash between Singer and actor Rami Malek and was caused by Singer’s being missing from the set, necessitating the Dec. 1 production shut-down of the film in which Malek stars as Freddie Mercury, frontman of the rock group Queen, which has been shooting in London.

In announcing the shut down last week, producers Fox, New Regency and Graham King initially said filming was being suspended because of Singer’s “unexpected unavailability.” Trouble began when Singer went absent during production on several occasions. His no-shows resulted in cinematographer Thomas Newton Sigel having to step in to helm some of the days while Singer was missing.

Tom Hollander, who plays Queen manager Jim Beach, also is said to have briefly quit the film because of Singer’s behavior, but was persuaded to return, according to one source. Malek complained to the studio, charging Singer with not being present on set, unreliability and unprofessionalism. Singer had been warned before production began by both Fox Film chairman and CEO Stacey Snider and Fox Film vice chairman and president of production Emma Watts that they wouldn’t tolerate any unprofessional behavior on his part. A representative from the Directors Guild of America also arrived on set to monitor the situation.

The growing tension led to a confrontation between Singer and Malek, which, while it did not become physical between the two did involve Singer throwing an object. Subsequently, however, the two are said to have settled their differences and filming was expected to resume. But then Singer did not return to the set after the Thanksgiving break and is believed to have been in the U.S. for about the last ten days, according to one source. In his absence, Sigel stepped in to helm several days of shooting before the production was shut down. Singer’s prolonged absence was the final straw, and so the studio decided to terminate him under his pay-or-play contract.

According to another insider, Singer has claimed he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder because of the tensions on the set. The studio, which has about two more weeks of principal photography remaining on the film, is expected to name a new director within the next few days.

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

Singer has claimed he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder because of the tensions on the set.” Bitch, please. It would be so very odd if Bryan Singer’s career went down the toilet because of completely mundane set drama and not, you know, the systematic abuse of underage boys over the course of decades. The vibe I’m getting is that the studio knows what’s up and this is their attempt to get out in front of everything before the sh-t hits the fan: they want to be able to say that they completely cut ties with him. I also think they’re showing that they had an especially low tolerance for his shenanigans this time around, almost like they were looking for an excuse – any excuse – to fire him.

Singer ended up releasing a statement about his firing, saying:

“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.”

“Bohemian Rhapsody is a passion project of mine. 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.”

“Rumors that my unexpected departure from the film was sparked by a dispute I had with Rami Malek are not true,” said the director. “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.”

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

Imagine, for a moment, the sense of entitlement that you would need to issue this kind of statement. Pride cometh before the fall.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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54 Responses to “Bryan Singer fired from directing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ but it’s not what you think”

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  1. Nicole says:

    Nah it’s what we think. Singer has apparently shut down his office, his PR manager no longer reps him and got fired for clashing with Rami.
    Methinks the behavior is someone who knows he’s next on the expose list.

    • Sixer says:

      I think you are right. He knows his time is up, doesn’t he?

      • Nicole says:

        Once Spacey was exposed he knew. That’s when he deleted his Twitter. They were known to run in the same circles.
        And if that circle is exposed there’s a LOT of big names that will be dropped. The rumors about those parties are pretty infamous

      • Sixer says:

        It’s all beginning to remind me of the endless attempts to expose paedophilia in the British establishment (in politics and law etc, rather than in entertainment as here).

    • msd says:

      Singer didn’t get fired for clashing with Rami Malek, let’s make that clear.

      Way too many people on social media are saying “Rami brought down Singer, what a hero!” Singer has been clashing with a lot of the cast and crew on BR, and Malek simply doesn’t have the power to do that. Singer has also clashed with a lot of cast and crew in the past – perhaps most famously, Halle Berry. He got fired for going awol yet again.

      Not directed at you but … I’m not cool with suddenly giving Malek a pass, not when Chastain got so much crap recently. She worked on a film he only executive produced and she never even met the guy. Plus she very publicly called him out. Before it was fashionable too, when it was still risky; everyone in Hollywood will be doing it next week if a story breaks. I’m tired of women being held to a higher standard.

      I don’t know if a big story is about to break. His scummy publicist abandoning him says yes. I hope so but either way he’s become a massive, toxic liability for the studio and they want to cut him loose before Disney comes in.

      • Mia4s says:

        I agree. I completely understand why Rami Malek chose to work with Singer (as I’ve said I don’t “cancel” people for choosing to work) but he gets zero credit on this. If Singer hadn’t misbehaved on set the movie would have continued. It has nothing to do with the accusations. Malek’s fine with me, but he’s no hero.

        As for Singer? It does feel a bit like when they got Al Capone on tax evasion…hopefully it’s just a start

      • Nicole says:

        Nowhere did I say that Rami was a hero. I stated that Rami was part of the reason he was fired. They can’t make the movie without him…I have no doubts him having a problem with singer pushed that decision over the edge.
        And I mentioned that Halle berry incident on Twitter when this story broke. Because I remember when it happened. I don’t give Rami a pass. I was mad that he signed onto this movie with Singer since it’s so against who Mercury WAS as a person. Just like I didn’t give Jessica a pass for working with him either. She could’ve said no to the project because unlike many others she has more clout to turn it down. Just like I don’t give JLaw a pass for working for several abusers including Singer. Just like I don’t give the countless men passes for working with Allen.
        I’m all for equal opportunity call outs. The whole “I had no idea about such and such” is an excuse that no longer flies with me from anyone. Except for maybe the younger set from Hollywood.

      • ichsi says:

        I’m so annoyed with the flak Jessica got. The ones who really need to be prepared now are the X-men actors who’ve regularly worked with him, McKellen and Jackman at the front. As much as it pains me as a fan, it’s not gonna be pretty and it’s not supposed to be either.

      • Mia4s says:

        @Nicole as @MSD said that wasn’t directed at you, it’s just pointing out that in certain spots online there was a push to portray Malek as “taking down Singer”. That’s absurd, he deserves neither credit or blame.

        I do agree this movie sounds terrible though. Sanitizing Freddie Mercury? Oh please, what a betrayal of a very fascinating and insanely talented man.

    • magnoliarose says:

      I agree with you. This is all everyone cutting ties so when B Sing falls they are covered. I just hope Jessica doesn’t get punished for speaking out. If this is the case, then I will support her movies even if they are crap for at least saying something.
      She isn’t perfect, but she tries, and I believe she is sincere.

    • Sigh... says:

      This movie has been starting-stopping since Cohen left many months ago over “creative differences” and Fox is just trying to save face, future box office, and awards contention at this point. Feels like Fox’s PR (since Singer now has none) is changing the narrative to put-upon fan-fave actor & magnanimous studio vs temperamental director, so IF/when anything else DOES come out, the studio doesn’t appear (as) complicit.

      Next: an EXPERTLY, obsessively picked replacement (“Diversity” hire? A legacy hire? A newbie to control?) & announcement to divert attention back to the film and farther/further distance from Singer.

  2. RBC says:

    Something big is about to drop for sure. The studio and Singer are preparing for the approaching shitstorm. Many people in Hollywood are probably very worried right now

    • Jabberwocky says:

      The rumour has ALWAYS been that Singer likes drugged up parties with very old rich men and very young men being used – but the other side of the rumour has ALWAYS been that he actually cards the young men, checks IDs. That’s how it’s gone on so long.

      That always sounded like BS to me. I think his head is next on the block.

      • ichsi says:

        Yeah, he’s very meticulous when it comes to checking that they’re at least 2 days past their 18th birthday. Not much older though either. I’m glad they’re cutting him loose now, but they should have done this 10 years ago at least.

    • Natalia says:

      Goo. Let them shake in their boots like we do most of the time – for different reasons.

  3. Chrissy says:

    He’s either in rehab or he’s hiding evidence of his various crimes, so he couldn’t be on set. One thing Hollywood doesn’t like is unpredictability and anything negatively affecting their bottom line, so Singer’s actions are going to hurt him in the long run. I really hope an expose is coming soon to flush out all the scum in that industry. Stay safe, Corey Feldman.

  4. Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

    This is preemptive from the studio – they are protecting themselves and the film from the coming sh!tstorm as its obvs that Singer is about to be exposed. Wonder who he will take down with him?

    • Shijel says:

      Who would’ve thought that a flaky coke fiend with pedophiles and rapists as his inner circle wouldn’t have panned out as an investment

      Oh yeah, those did who thought that the lid would stay on the Hollywood pot full of rot forever.

      Singer’s a powerful front for even more powerful abusive money men. It’s literally peeling back the shell and I can’t wait to see that cyst exposed and drained. Let’s see what drops, because so far Singer has been like teflon, really.

      • magnoliarose says:

        I hope the big one who abused is exposed, but I just think he may be too big. Some parents should be revealed for pimping out their kids for fame and money; they get no passes either.

      • Nic919 says:

        Who is the bigger person behind Singer? This was referenced in an earlier post that 80s and 90s movies would be forever ruined if this was exposed , but I don’t think more was said. I guessed Spielberg but I have no idea really.

  5. IlsaLund says:

    I read Singer’s disappearing behavior has occurred on other film projects as well. Why would Fox hire Singer for the job in the first place if they knew he was problematic and had a no-show history. Imagine if a director whose female or person of color tried that BS. They’d never work again.

    • Alexandria says:

      Your last line answered your question 😀

    • Jabberwocky says:

      Yup, he has acted like a spoiled toddler on other film sets before. No idea why he gets hired anyway – he mostly directs superhero films that could direct themselves (explodey-explodey here, dumb referential joke here, wink to the camera here, tits out here).

    • ISSAQUEEN says:

      I think he may have dirt on those big studio bosses. Because from what we’ve heard about Singer over the years there NO WAY in hell he should still be aloud make work. He’s probably blackmailing a bunch of them.

    • Bridget says:

      Catherine Hardwicke stepped aside and cried ONCE and she was forever branded unstable and wasn’t re-hired for another Twilight movie once she made it a hit. Singer apparently has a habit of just not showing up for work and getting into fights with people onset, and it took him publicly disappearing to finally be fired.

  6. wood dragon says:

    PTSD – sure…After Spacey went down in flames.

    • IlsaLund says:

      I actually read some online comments where people thought only combat veterans got PTSD and anyone claiming to suffer PTSD was “disrespecting our military.”

      Singer needs to be held accountable for his crimes and misdeeds.

      • Nicole says:

        I mean that’s obviously not true at all. The number of kids I see that have PTSD is high. Leave it to the general public to have no clue that anyone that experiences trauma can have PTSD if they meet the right criteria
        But Singer does not have PTSD he’s just throwing out a label thinking we will feel sorry for him.

    • QueenB says:

      He certainly will be under lots of stress knowing that his time is up. And if you do stuff with underage kids the public outcry will be even worse, tho I do not know if thats the case here. I can see him having PTSD like symptoms. He fully deserves it tho.

  7. Nanny to the Rescue says:

    I too believe people above me are correct in that something is brewing and he’s trying to go into hiding.

    That being said, if one of his parents really is ill, I’d expect a studio to be supportive enough to let him go visit them. And I could totally imagine studios telling their directors or actors they can’t have time off for that. Which would make me resent said studio very much.

    My point is that I’m guessing Singer is only playing on our emotions (and is working in my case), but if there’s any truth to what he’s saying, I hope his parent recovers and that the studio goes eff themselves.

    Singer himself still needs to go to jail, tho.

    • QueenB says:

      Normally they could be supportive. But even if there is no immediate expose coming they know he is toxic and they must cut him loose. So now they can make a deal with him that looks like saving face on both sides.

  8. Neelyo says:

    No muffin basket for Fox, not even an Edible Arrangement!

    They’ve swept this under the rug for years and are only doing the right thing now because the jig is up.

    • Ally says:

      Absolutely. One of the articles points out that Fox does not have a single film in production helmed by a woman director. It’s a toxic man-enabling club over there.

  9. adastraperaspera says:

    Damage control. Justice snapping at his heels, I hope.

  10. Louise177 says:

    I don’t think the studio is trying to save face about a scandal. Singer hasn’t been on set for two weeks. That’s a lot of wasted time and money. Maybe something is going to happen or this is just the same old from Singer.

  11. Purplehazeforever says:

    I don’t know, either something is about to drop or he just a pattern of unprofessional behavior and it bit him hard this time. Every time the Gossip God’s thought they had Singer in their sights, he escaped. I will only believe it if and only when an actual expose drops via New York Times. Someone is dropping these names, though. Interesting.

  12. Layla Beans says:

    “It’s not what you think.” LOL – sure Jan.

    I can’t wait for the receipts on this guy. Been waiting since Apt Pupil. Enjoy oblivion and ‘sex rehab’ with Weinstein and Spacey, Bryan.

  13. Falum says:

    Hope he feels hunted and the stress levels make his head combust

  14. Margo S. says:

    Lol Kaiser. I love your “bitch please” hahaha. So true!

    This is clearly fox knowing a tell all is about to drop. They are kicking him out at the end, but it doesn’t change the fact that they hired him in the first place. Everything that’s going to drop about singers behavior won’t really be news. They may just name names of victims now.

    This also makes me love Rami Malek more. He doesn’t take shit from Singer!

  15. H says:

    There was a petition by students to remove Singer’s name off of a film school in LA (Singer gave them a $5M endowment) and over at the Fail, a friend of Singer’s was saying how “wrong” that was. Bitch, please. I hope Bryan goes down in flames.

  16. littlemissnaughty says:

    Nobody looks good here, as always. Rami Malek seems like such a chill dude (who still chose to work with Singer but was he really in a position to turn this down?) so if they clashed, I’m blaming Singer and a coked-out hissy fit. Addicts are not the most level-headed people, who would’ve thought?

    What gets me is that several people warned him to be professional. I can’t even put into words how very f*cked that is! In what line of work do you get hired over and over again when you are a known f*ckface? He is not irreplacable. He’s just not that good. I want to know what he has on people that this keeps happening.

  17. Valiantly Varnished says:

    I think it’s EXACTLY what we think. His PR no longer reps him, he deleted his Twitter and he went MIA for an extended period of time where no one could find him. He knows it’s coming and he’s preparing for it.

  18. ISSAQUEEN says:

    It seems like Singer cannot be taken down because the people who should be taking him down are exactly like him and they are trying their hardest to protect him. So instead of his criminal and horrifying behavior being talked about we are not talking about his unprofessionalism, *eyeroll*. Like if Harvey freaking Weinstein can be taken down, why can’t Singer? Why is it taking so long? Men like Singer are really truly powerful, it’s terrifying.

    • Pumpkin (formally soup, pie) says:

      It’s law enforcement and the legal system who should take ALL of them down, and in jail.

  19. CharlieBouquet says:

    Not familiar with this guy, can someone post where to find out about him?
    I have to think ambien is being prescribed in mass proportion. All the men who have abused women or men are on edge.

    • Happy21 says:

      I don’t know much about him either so am in the dark as well…

    • Mina says:

      Bryan Singer used to be considered one of the young prodigies of cinema. He became well regarded when he directed “The usual suspects”, and then brought to Fox their biggest hit franchise, X-Men, which he’s alternated between directing, producing and both. Also openly gay at a time when that wasn’t too common yet. But he’d been accused before of forcing minors to have sex at this really shady parties (you can read a good article about it here: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/bryan-singer-sex-abuse-case-699828), but those accusations, which include other big Hollywood names, never came to anything, legally speaking, and Singer has been able to keep working and making money.

      However Fox had already decided not to renew his contract and the Queen movie was supposed to be his last for the studio. So I think they were already having issues with him, and this was just their big chance to just end the relationship definitely.

      • marymoon says:

        And didn’t Gabriel Byrne just state that Spacey being a sexual predator shut down the production of Usual Suspects … just. how. much. of. a. connection. is there between Singer and Spacey??

  20. Mina says:

    If Singer hadn’t done the same thing in so many of his other sets, maybe I’d believe him it was all because of a sick parent.

    • marymoon says:

      Agreed. I could also believe that one of his parents had a heart attack after hearing/reading initial reports or being contacted for comments/soundbites on developing stories.

  21. Dame-ly says:

    According to a CDan insider…..

    “I talked with a lady boss at FOX last night who said the word came down from Murdoch – get rid of everything Singer is doing. They wanna scrub it clean to appeal to Disney stockholders! “