As “Bohemian Rhapsody” picks up momentum this Oscar season, the biggest elephant in the room is how the cast and crew will handle the Bryan Singer drama. The “X-Men” director was fired from “Bohemian Rhapsody” and replaced by Dexter Fletcher with just a few weeks of production left to go. Singer’s removal was because the director apparently would vanish for extended periods of time, and he notoriously clashed with star Rami Malek during the making of the movie. Singer also has a history of being accused of sexual abuse.
If the 2019 Golden Globes are any indication, the strategy “Bohemian Rhapsody” is using this awards season is to avoid mentioning Singer any way it can. Rami Malek was named this year’s Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama, beating the likes of Bradley Cooper and Willem Dafoe, and he didn’t utter Singer’s name while dolling out a handful of thank you messages in his speech. The actor heaped praise on “Bohemian Rhapsody” producer Graham King (“You’ve worked over a decade to ensure this story is told”) and Queen band members Roger Taylor and Brian May, but Singer was less than an afterthought.
King spoke on behalf of the film when it was named Best Motion Picture Drama, and he too avoided any Singer references. The closest King got to mentioning Singer is simply by thanking the hardworking cast and crew who brought the movie to life. “The power of movies is that it brings us all together,” the producer said. “Freddie Mercury and Queen did that so successfully through their music and that’s what we always wanted to accomplish in the cinema.”
As reported by IndieWire’s Anne Thompson in her Globes analysis piece, Malek was nudged backstage following his win to address Singer’s absence in his speech at the Globes. The actor refused to give in and instead brought the conversation back to Queen and Freddie Mercury.
“The one thing we needed to do was celebrate Freddie Mercury in this film,” Malek said, responding to a Singer-related question. “Nothing was going to compromise us and giving him the love and celebration he deserves.”
“We made this one film about Freddie, we believe this is the right one, the public, most of them are crying,” added Brian May. “That tells me the team did it right.”
“Bohemian Rhapsody” is now playing in theaters nationwide.