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Twentieth Century Fox halts production on the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody due to the “unexpected unavailability” of director Bryan Singer. It was announced earlier this year that the X-Men director would be helming a film following the members of British rock band Queen, which rose to popularity in the 1970s. It was additionally revealed that Mr. Robot breakout Rami Malek would star as Freddie Mercury, Queen’s frontman who passed away in 1991.
In the months since the project was officially announced, Bohemian Rhapsody cast the other members of Queen – Brian May (Gwilym Lee), John Deacon (Joe Mazzello), and Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy) – and production began. While an official look at Malek as Freddie Mercury was released, unofficial photos and videos from the set of Bohemian Rhapsody have offered fans additional looks at the actor in character as the Queen frontman. However, though filming seemed to be moving along according to schedule, Fox has now revealed production has halted.
THR is reporting Fox has halted production on Bohemian Rhapsody due to the “unexpected unavailability” of Singer. Fox’s full statement reads: “Twentieth Century Fox Film has temporarily halted production on Bohemian Rhapsody due to the unexpected unavailability of Bryan Singer.” A representative for Singer released a statement to BBC that explains the director’s absence is due to “a personal health matter concerning Bryan and his family.” However, according to THR’s sources Singer didn’t return to the production following Thanksgiving, leaving producers nervous about the film and starting to discuss replacing the director. THR’s sources also claim Singer has repeatedly clashed with Malek on set.
Rami Malek as Freddi Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody Fox Halts Production on Bryan Singer’s Queen Biopic Bohemian Rhapsody
Speculation has already begun to circulate online that Singer’s absence from the set of Bohemian Rhapsody is related to an upcoming report concerning new or known allegations of sexual violence against the director. In 2014, as reported by THR, actor Michael Egan III filed a civil suit against Singer and three others, accusing them of drugging and forcing Egan “into sex at parties in Encino and Hawaii – starting when Egan was only 15.” Singer denied the allegations, saying they were, “outrageous, vicious and completely false.” However, as noted by The Daily Beast, this wasn’t the first or only accusation that’s been made against Singer.
Whether the production delay on Bohemian Rhapsody is due to an impending news report remains to be seen. As of now, the only information we have concerning the halting of production is from Singer’s representative and Fox. As THR notes in their report about the delay, Singer has disappeared from productions before, those of X-Men: Apocalypse and Superman Returns – both films the director completed. It’s unclear as of now whether he’ll return to Bohemian Rhapsody after recovering from his illness, or if Fox will replace the director before resuming production. Still, fans of Queen and Malek are likely hoping production resumes on Bohemian Rhapsody soon so the film will be able to make its late 2018 release date.