Bryan Singer will receive sole director credit on 20th Century Fox’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” despite his firing from the film, sources close to the production confirmed to IndieWire. On December 5, the studio officially dismissed Singer (“The Usual Suspects,” “X-Men”), who never returned to the London set of the Freddie Mercury biopic after Thanksgiving break. Actor/director Dexter Fletcher — who was once at work on his own feature about the late Queen frontman for Sony — was announced as Singer’s replacement one day later.
During shooting, Singer reportedly argued with star Rami Malek. Speaking to the BBC, a representative for Singer attributed his sudden set departure to “a personal health matter concerning Bryan and his family.” In Washington state, Singer was hit with a sexual assault lawsuit on December 6, which cited a 14-year-old incident involving a minor.
Last month, Fletcher told IndieWire that he ran the set while the final third of the film was shot, and oversaw editing of his and Singer’s footage.
“I think the film stands on its own merit, and that’s what really should be important,” rather than who receives directing credit from the DGA, he said. “I was just proud to be able to be a part of it and help complete what I think is a great film.” Fox seems to agree: the studio not only moved up the “Bohemian Rhapsody” release date by seven weeks, but also closed their CinemaCon presentation with Malek and the dazzling first trailer, hoping the Singer association will not hinder its award season prospects.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” lands in theaters on November 2.