Bryan Singer 'sacked' from Bohemian Rhapsody
Bryan Singer has confirmed he is no longer directing 'Bohemian Rhapsody', claiming 20th Century Fox refused to give him time off to look after an unwell parent.
The 52-year-old filmmaker has claimed his services were "terminated" by the studio after he asked for some time off to go back to the US to deal with "pressing health matters concerning one of my parents".
In a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, Singer said: "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 US 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 has denied speculation his exit was down to "a dispute" with lead star Rami Malek - who will play the band's late frontman Freddie in the motion picture - but admitted they did have "creative differences" on set at times.
He added: "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."
20th Century Fox confirmed Singer had departed the role, but didn't say why.
They said in a statement: "Bryan Singer is no longer the director of 'Bohemian Rhapsody'"
The studio revealed over the weekend that filming for the upcoming movie had been temproarily suspended due to a personal "health matter" affecting Singer.
They said: "Twentieth Century Fox Film has temporarily halted production on 'Bohemian Rhapsody' due to the unexpected unavailability of Bryan Singer due to a personal health matter concerning Bryan and his family... Bryan hopes to get back to work on the film soon after the holidays."
'Bohemian Rhapsody' will chart the rock band's story up to their appearance at the Live Aid charity concert in 1985.
As well as Malek, Ben Hardy will portray drummer Roger Taylor, Joe Mazzello is in line to star as bassist John Deacon and Gwilym Lee will play lead guitarist Brian May.