20th Century Fox confirmed today that production has shut down on Bohemian Rhapsody, the studio's highly-anticipated Queen biopic, due to a health matter involving director Bryan Singer. Both the director and an unspecified family member are reportedly having health issues, but the studio's statement wouldn't elaborate on the nature of this matter. Take a look at the studio's brief statement below.
"Twentieth Century Fox Film has temporarily halted production on Bohemian Rhapsody due to the unexpected unavailability of Bryan Singer."
The studio added that, despite this unexpected production shut down due to director Bryan Singer and his health matters, this should not affect the December 2018 release date that the studio has already set for the biopic. Shortly after this story first broke, reps for Bryan Singer issued a brief statement of their own, revealing when the director is expected back at work.
"This is a personal health matter concerning Bryan and his family. Bryan hopes to get back to work on the film soon after the holidays."
There is another report from The Hollywood Reporter though that claims the director didn't return back to the Bohemian Rhapsody set this week after the Thanksgiving break, and there has been talk among the film's producers about potentially replacing him. Sources have claimed that it has been a troublesome production, with the director often clashing with star Rami Malek, who is portraying legendary Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. The star and other producers have reportedly grown tired of his behavior, where he would routinely show up late to set, with the director of photography stepping in to direct in his absence before.
This report also adds that Bryan Singer has pulled off disappearing acts in the past, vanishing without any warning during production on both X-Men: Apocalypse and Superman Returns. Since these statements seem to indicate production will be back on track with Bryan Singer in the new year, it seems that talk of replacing him has subsided. Fans got their first look at Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury back in September with the first official photo, while images and videos surfaced from the set during the production's re-enactment of Queen's iconic Live Aid performance at Wembley Stadium.
Rami Malek leads a cast that also includes Ben Hardy (X-Men: Apocalypse), Joe Mazzello (The Social Network), and Gwilym Lee (Midsomer Murders) as Freddie Mercury's Queen bandmates. Mazzello is set to play Queen's quiet bassist John Deacon while Hardy will play drummer/singer Roger Taylor and Lee will play guitarist/singer Brian May. Justin Haythe (Red Sparrow) wrote the screenplay for Bohemian Rhapsody which will go up against Disney's Mary Poppins Returns. You can check out The Hollywood Reporter for more on this breaking story.