The last few days have been hell for Bryan Singer, the director best known for the X-Men series of films. First, he was fired from the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody by 20th Century Fox for failing to return to the set after the Thanksgiving holiday and now he is being sued for allegedly raping a 17-year-old boy during a party 14 years ago. What’s more, the Superman Returns director has fired back at Fox and probably damaged his relationship with the studio forever.
Bryan Singer first made a name for himself in Hollywood by directing 1995’s neo-noir film The Usual Suspects, which earned Kevin Spacey a Best Supporting Actor Oscar win at the time. Fascinated by the analogies of prejudice and discrimination the comic book stories told, Singer soon took control of 20th Century Fox’s X-Men franchise, directing and writing the first film in 2000. Although he has openly confessed that he is not a comic book fan, he has always had his hand in the X-Men pie, either as a director or sitting in as a producer for the franchise, which has since spawned nine sequels and spin-off films. Now, after ten films, which Fox has made a whopping US$4.9 billion off of, that working relationship is now no more. Singer’s reign on the X-Men franchise has come to a screeching halt.
Following the alleged erratic behaviour of the director, including arguments with Rami Malek, 20th Century Fox announced that Bryan will no longer helm Bohemian Rhapsody and will be replaced with director Dexter Fletcher. Not long after he fired back by releasing a statement about the widespread rumours. Here’s his full statement:
Bohemian Rhapsody is a passion project of mine. With fewer than three weeks to shoot remaining, I asked Fox for some time off so I could return to the U.S. to deal with pressing health matters concerning one of my parents. 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.
Rumours 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 honour 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.
While it still remains a he-said-she-said, Singer’s woes were only beginning. Just days later, he was accused of sexual assault for the second (possibly third) time in his career.
Whether the accusations prove true or not, the chances are that he’ll probably never direct a X-Men film again. With Disney looking at purchasing Fox’s television and film divisions, Marvel will probably look at bringing the X-Men characters under the MCU umbrella. That said, Singer’s return is highly unlikely. Forget the black leather suits, we might finally get the bright yellow spandex.