Director Bryan Singer has been fired from the documentary about Queen that stars Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury.


Production on the film, titled Bohemian Rhapsody, has been stalled after an extended absence by the now-fired director. It is still set for release on Christmas Day in 2018. “Bryan Singer is no longer the director of Bohemian Rhapsody,” said a brief statement from a 20th Century Fox spokesperson. “Twentieth Century Fox Film has temporarily halted production on Bohemian Rhapsody due to the unexpected unavailability of Bryan Singer,” they said in a previous statement.

A story from the Hollywood Reporter mentions tension between Singer and Malek. The actor has reportedly told Fox that the director showed unprofessional behavior. In Singer’s absence, cinematographer Thomas Newton Sigel reportedly took over directing duties until a new director can be chosen.

The Queen biopic project has had a lot of ups and downs over the years. It originally was slated to star Sacha Baron Cohen, and various other lead actors before Malek signed on. When Singer took the helm, he described a family-friendly vision for the film. “It won’t just be the dark Freddie story, but that being said, that [aspect of him] also will be honored,” Singer told EW in September. “I would be remiss not to. There’s a way to do it—without getting into the specifics of how I’m doing it—which has been discussed among all participants and we feel it’s being honored, but at the same time, it’s about the music.”

A replacement director has yet to be named.

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