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Entertainment Weekly

Movies

Bryan Singer hits back at Fox over firing: Studio was ‘unwilling’ to let me care for ill parent

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Hours after being fired as the director of Bohemian Rhapsody, Bryan Singer has issued a statement saying his termination was the result of his return to the U.S. to tend to a sick parent.

On Friday, production on the Queen biopic was temporarily halted due to the filmmaker’s “unexpected unavailability.” Singer says he requested time off to be with his family during a “pressing health matter,” but Fox wouldn’t accommodate, he claims, and subsequently let him go.

The X-Men: Days of Future Past director went on to deny reports that on-set disputes with Rami Malek, who stars as Freddie Mercury, led to his dismissal. “Rumors that my unexpected departure from the film was sparked by a dispute I had with Rami Malek are not true,” he writes. “While, at times, we did have creative differences on set, Rami and I successfully put those differences behind us and continued to work on the film together until just prior to Thanksgiving.”

Singer concludes, “I wanted nothing more than to be able to finish this project and help honor the legacy of Freddie Mercury and Queen, but Fox would not permit me to do so because I needed to temporarily put my health, and the health of my loved ones, first.”

Upon news of the delay in production, a source had told EW that the reason was due to “a personal health matter concerning Bryan and his family” and that the director hoped to return to the film after the holidays.

Read the full statement below.

Bohemian Rhapsody is a passion project of mine. With fewer than three weeks to shoot remaining, I asked Fox for some time off so I could return to the U.S. to deal with pressing health matters concerning one of my parents. This was a very taxing experience, which ultimately took a serious toll on my own health. Unfortunately, the studio was unwilling to accommodate me and terminated my services. This was not my decision and it was beyond my control. Rumors that my unexpected departure from the film was sparked by a dispute I had with Rami Malek are not true. While, at times, we did have creative differences on set, Rami and I successfully put those differences behind us and continued to work on the film together until just prior to Thanksgiving. I wanted nothing more than to be able to finish this project and help honor the legacy of Freddie Mercury and Queen, but Fox would not permit me to do so because I needed to temporarily put my health, and the health of my loved ones, first.

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