Bryan Singer has been fired as the director of the upcoming Freddie Mercury biopic.
Twentieth Century Fox confirmed the news in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, with the BBC later claiming it was due to “unreliable behaviour”.
“Bryan Singer is no longer the director of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’,” a spokesperson for the studio said.
News of his departure follows reports he had clashed with lead star Rami Malek, and also failed to show up for filming on more than one occasion.
However, in a statement, Byran insisted reports of a feud were not true, and also claimed Fox bosses did not accommodate his requests to take time out to attend to a sick parent.
“With fewer than three weeks to shoot remaining, I asked Fox for some time off so I could return to the US to deal with pressing health matters concerning one of my parents,” he said.
“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.”
He continued: “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.”
The film, which also stars Tom Hollander and former ‘EastEnders’ actor Ben Hardy, is still expected to be released in December 2018 as planned.