News and Commentary

Bryan Singer FIRED From ‘Queen’ Biopic Amid Fears Of More Sexual Harassment Allegations

Twentieth Century Fox has fired embattled director Bryan Singer from Singer’s own film, a biopic of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, amid fears more sexual harassment allegations may emerge against the director and, reportedly, because Singer had become impossible to work with.

Several young men have accused Singer of sexual abuse, including a Twitter user named “Justin Smith” who went on a 14-Tweet rant against the “X-Men” director back in November, claiming that Singer attempted to forcibly penetrate Smith at a party. A number of other accusations came to light as part of the #metoo movement, and several social media users — most notably, actresses Evan Rachel Wood and Jessica Chastain — have suggested that Singer will be the next Hollywood bigwig to fall as a result of the wave of sexual harassment allegations currently rocking Hollywood.

Singer has denied the allegations.

Production company Twentieth Century Fox seems to be taking all precautions. In a statement made Monday, Fox said that it had terminated its contract with Singer with only three weeks left on “Bohemian Rhapsody’s” shooting schedule. The Hollywood Reporter claims that the studio could no longer tolerate Singer’s on-set behavior, as he feuded with production crew and even the film’s lead, mild-mannered “Mr. Robot” star Rami Maleek.

At one point, THR reports, there were even fears that Maleek — or fellow actor Tom Hollander — might make an assault claim against Singer, though the details about the alleged incident are unclear.

Gossip magazine, Radar Online, claims further that Singer was a problem for the studio because of his habit of taking late nights, staying out until 2 or 3 in the morning, and then showing up to work hungover and belligerent. The same source also told Radar that the studio’s “final straw” came when they asked Singer whether he thought there would be more sexual harassment and abuse allegations, and the star director refused to assure them there would not be.

As Ben Affleck is finding out, accusations of sexual harassment can kill a movie’s box office returns, and Twentieth Century Fox has already spent millions on Singer’s glam-rock “masterpiece.”

Singer, for his part, says the parting was mutual, and that Fox refused to accommodate him as he returned to the U.S. from Europe to care for a sick parent, delaying the film’s shooting schedule. He laid into the studio in a public statement, claiming that he was forced to drop out of the picture because Fox was “unwilling to accommodate me and terminated my services. This was not my decision and it was beyond my control.”

Fox has already, reportedly, spoken to two directors interested in finishing the project.