Eddie the Eagle director Dexter Fletcher is replacing Bryan Singer on the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, Fox announced Wednesday.
Singer was fired from the project Monday after what the studio said were unexplained absences from the set, although the director countered that Fox refused to give him time off to care for an ill parent.
With Fletcher at the helm, production is expected to resume next week. Fletcher, who made his screen debut in 1976’s Bugsy Malone, has extensive acting credits that include Stardustand Kick-Ass. He made his directorial debut with 2011’s Wild Bill and most recently helmed 2016’s Eddie the Eagle, a biopic about the British ski jumper who took the 1988 Winter Olympics by storm.
Fox’s decision to terminate Singer came after an escalating clash between the director and Bohemian Rhapsody star Rami Malek, who is playing Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. While Malek and Singer are said to have resolved their differences, the production, which has been shooting in London, was forced to shut down Friday due to the helmer’s absences.
After exiting the project, Singer denied he had acted unprofessionally. He claimed the studio refused to allow him to tend to “a gravely ill parent” as well as to his own health. “I wanted nothing more than to be able to finish this project and help honor the legacy of Freddie Mercury and Queen,” he said in a statement, “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.”
Fox, New Regency and Graham King’s GK Films banner are producing Bohemian Rhapsody, which is slated for a Dec. 25, 2018, release.