Reported by Variety, it turns out there was a good reason Bryan Singer chose to back out of his directing position over 2018’s Golden Globe-winning film, Bohemian Rhapsody. While at the Producer’s Guild Awards Nominees breakfast, Graham King spoke briefly about the challenges they faced working on that film.
According to King, the producer of the movie, Singer’s mother was sick, and he didn’t have 100% focus on the project as a result. It was around 16 or 17 days until filming began, but Bryan had to back out.
Graham described Bryan stating that he had to go on hiatus while he dealt with more personal matters, but the studio wanted to finish it. And of course, being Graham’s job, as he explained, it was his role to make sure the movie continued and went on for release.
Fox had to absolve Singer of his job under the “pay or play” provision of his contract, which permits networks to fire people who don’t perform. Singer repeatedly didn’t show up for work, and it inevitably came to a halt in December of 2017. He did get a credit for the movie but was left out of the acceptance speeches during the Golden Globes.
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King said he and the rest of the cast and crew were a “big family,” and they learned to do what was necessary to get things done. Moreover, he said Sacha Baron Cohen had never signed on to the project to play Freddie Mercury, so Malek was finally the one they chose.
King told the audience that many actors were interested in taking on the role, but apparently, it was “a lot of talk,” and not much else. Bohemian Rhapsody took home the award for Best Picture and Malek also won the Golden Globe for Best Performance By An Actor.
As it was previously reported, Sacha Baron Cohen had to back out for creative reasons. During an episode of Howard Stern’s Radio show, the pair talked about the fate of the movie, and Cohen admitted that he and the rest of the band, Queen, didn’t get along regarding the idea of the film’s conclusion.
Cohen was interested in ending the film after the death of Freddie Mercury from AIDs, but producers and members of the band chose to continue the film afterward to show how the band persevered.