Bohemian Rhapsody producer Graham King has addressed director Bryan Singer’s departure from the film partway through production, calling it an “unfortunate” situation.
King said Singer was looking at halting the production as his mother was unwell but the studio, 20th Century Fox wanted to complete the film, reported Variety.
“It’s an unfortunate situation, with like 16, 17 days to go and Bryan Singer just had some issues, his mother was very sick, and he’s the kind of guy that he needs to have 100 per cent focus.
“He just said, ‘I want to hiatus the film’, and deal with what he had going on in his life. And the studio wanted to finish the film. And of course, my job is to protect the film at any cost and that’s what I was there to do,” King said at the Producers Guild Awards Nominees Breakfast.
Fox terminated Singer’s services under the “pay or play” provision of his contract, sources had indicated at the time, due to his repeated failures to show up on the set, which brought the production to a halt in December 2017.
After firing Singer, Fox hired Dexter Fletcher to finish the film.
Singer received a directing credit on the Queen biopic but he was not acknowledged by the producers and lead actor Rami Malek during their Golden Globes acceptance speeches for Bohemian Rhapsody.
The film won the Best Motion Picture – Drama and Malek took home the trophy of Best Actor Motion Picture Drama at this year’s Globes.
“We were such a family by then, Rami was driving that train every morning… We just all did what we had to do to get the movie finished,” King added.
Even though Sacha Baron Cohen was touted as the original actor cast in the role of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, King said no one was officially signed until Malek.
“There was a lot of talk about different people playing Freddie Mercury and no one was actually signed to play Freddie Mercury. No one was attached to play Freddie Mercury until Rami Malek. It was just a lot of talk, there was a couple of actors that wanted to play that role,” he said.