Bohemian Rhapsody opens in theaters this weekend, starring Mr. Robot's Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury. But getting this Queen biopic to the big screen was no easy feat thanks to its fired director Bryan Singer.
According to a piece from The Hollywood Reporter, Singer was cut from the film back in December 2017 for a few reasons. A heated fight with Malek on set is among them. “Tensions escalated into an on-set altercation between Singer and his star (by all accounts, one of the nicest actors in the business),” THR writes. “With reports of a piece of electrical equipment thrown by Singer (though not at anyone), a complaint—apparently from Malek—prompted Fox to dispatch several execs to London.”
Singer will still be credited as director, but was stripped of his producer credit. What prompted him to fight with Malek or haphazardly throw electrical gear is still unclear, but it definitely didn’t help his case when he decided to disappear from set. Execs quickly became impatient with Singer, who was "up to his old tricks."
But Singer claims his fight with Malek was no big deal. “Any discussion about fights between myself and Rami Malek are simply an exaggeration of a few creative differences that were quickly resolved,” he told THR. “This is normal on a film set. And I think the work speaks for itself.”
In a recent interview with IndieWire, Malek kept things about his conflict with Singer vague. “It’s difficult working on a film that everyone’s so passionate about. I’m just a very passionate human being,” he said. “I just kept Freddie at the forefront of all of this. Nothing in this business surprises me anymore.”
After being fired as the director of Bohemian Rhapsody, Singer was sued for raping a 17-year-old boy in 2003. He walked away from his executive producer title on FX's Legion in January, following the allegation.