When X-Men director Bryan Singer signed on for Bohemian Rhapsody, a biopic about rock band Queen and its late singer Freddie Mercury, it seemed like a match made in heaven. However, things took a turn for the worse during the movie's production, ultimately resulting in him being dropped from the film.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Singer missed multiple days of filming, leaving cinematographer Thomas Newton Sigel to direct on days where he didn't show up. This reportedly led the movie's star, Rami Malek, to complain to the studio. A representative from the Directors Guild of America is said to have been sent to set to observe.
Things reportedly continued to devolve, eventually culminating in a fight between Singer and Malek that allegedly resulted in Singer throwing an object. While the two were said to have made up, Singer failed to report back to the show's London set after Thanksgiving break, leading the studio to shut down production with just two weeks left to go. Shortly after, the studio decided to terminate Singer.
Singer quickly shared an alternate account, insisting that while he and Malek at times had "creative differences" on set, they had let them go and were ready to resume filming after the holiday. The real problem, according to the director, was that he needed to take time off to take care of a "gravely ill parent," and Fox refused to accommodate his request.
Shortly after his firing, Singer was replaced by Eddie the Eagle director Dexter Fletcher. Fletcher already had a connection to the project—he was previously hired to direct the movie in December of 2013, when Ben Whishaw was attached as the star, and later ended up leaving the project over creative differences with producers. While it may have served as a nice full circle moment for Fletcher, Singer's firing was just another disruption in a movie that had already been through a torturous development process—and it raised the question of whether Singer or Fletcher would ultimately receive the final director's credit.