Bryan Singer Will Be the Only Director Credited on ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’
When Bryan Singer exited Bohemian Rhapsody last fall in the middle of shooting, 20th Century Fox enlisted Dexter Fletcher (Eddie the Eagle) to complete production on the long-developing Queen / Freddie Mercury biopic. Although the first official trailer for the film, which stars Rami Malek as the iconic rock frontman, is absent any mention of either director, a new report reveals that it’ll be Singer — not Fletcher — who receives sole credit when Bohemian Rhapsody hits theaters in November.
The update comes from Empire magazine (via Collider), which reveals that Bryan Singer will be the credited director on Bohemian Rhapsody despite his firing from the film. Singer parted ways with production last fall in the middle of shooting amid reports of an extended absence from set and heated confrontations with Rami Malek. Fox replaced Singer with Fletcher, who was no stranger to the project having been attached to a previous iteration of the biopic.
In the new interview, producer Graham King explained — but not really — why Singer will receive directing credit:
Bryan Singer is the credited director of the film. Basically, Bryan had some personal issues going on. He wanted to hiatus the movie to deal with them, and the movie had to get finished. That was what it came down to… It wasn’t about reinventing the wheel. We needed someone who would have some creative freedom, but work inside a box. [Fletcher] did us a real favor.
Those personal problems remain a mystery, but it didn’t escape notice that Singer began behaving strangely just as several men in Hollywood were being called out for allegations of sexual misconduct and assault. Singer has been the subject of numerous allegations and rumors regarding his relationships with younger — and possibly underage — men. The X-Men director’s ties to convicted sex offender Marc Collins-Rector have factored into the allegations, including a 2014 civil lawsuit brought against Singer for the sexual assault of a minor.
That lawsuit was withdrawn, while a similar lawsuit in 2014 — brought on behalf of an anonymous complainant — was dismissed. Following sexual misconduct allegations against Singer’s friend and occasional collaborator Kevin Spacey in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, allegations against Singer were revived. Students at the USC School of Cinematic Arts called for Singer’s name to be removed from the film program; the university complied. FOX also removed Singer as an executive producer on the X-Men series The Gifted and Legion.
Curiously (or perhaps suspiciously), about a month before his firing from Bohemian Rhapsody, Bryan Singer disappeared from social media — while numerous articles detailing the past sexual assault allegations against him and subsequent lawsuits were seemingly scrubbed from the internet.
All of which is to say that it is, at the very least, concerning that 20th Century Fox has decided to give Singer sole directing credit for Bohemian Rhapsody. The possibility that the decision might have been the result of the studio’s attempt to avoid a lawsuit — and / or any future dealings — with Singer remains to be seen.