Production has stopped several times on Bohemian Rhapsody, a biopic of the Freddie Mercury and Queen. Fox told The Hollywood Reporter that progress halted on the movie last week due to the "unexpected unavailability" of director Bryan Singer. Now, Singer has been fired.
Sources on set say the trouble stems from a resentment between Singer and Rami Malek, who stars as Freddie Mercury. Singer has reportedly gone missing from set for entire days following the conflicts between the two, instructing cinematographer Thomas Newton Sigel to take over in his absence.
Malek is said to have gone over Singer's head to studio executives, complaining about the director's poor attendance and professionalism. Singer has a reputation for such behavior, and had been warned before filming even began that Fox wouldn't tolerate any lapses. A representative from the Director's Guild of America was sent to the set in London to keep an eye on Singer.
Tom Hollander, who plays Queen's manager Jim Beach in the film, has also had some absences, and he even threatened to quit the film entirely at one point. Hollander was reportedly frustrated with Singer and his behavior, and had to be convinced to come back to work.
Insiders say that all the tension on set culminated in a blow-out fight between Malek and Singer about two weeks ago, with Singer throwing something in his fury. Afterwards, however, the two are said to have made up and agreed to continue working together.
However, Singer never returned to the set after the Thanksgiving holiday. The director reportedly didn't even go back to England, and has been in the U.S. ever since his confrontation with Malek. Fox has fired Singer officially, and the company is expected to assign a new director to finish the film. Bohemian Rhapsody is said to have about two more weeks of filming to go.
People close to singer say that he is claiming the experience gave him Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is preventing him from returning to work.