Freddie Mercury in 1980 (Neal Preston © Queen Productions Ltd.)

The Hollywood Reporter revealed Friday that the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody had halted production because of the “unexpected unavailability” of director Bryan Singer. Now comes word that Singer has been fired from the oft-delayed project.

In a statement obtained by ABC Radio, Twentieth Century Fox has announced, “Bryan Singer is no longer the director of Bohemian Rhapsody.” A source close to the studio tells ABC that the main reason for Singer’s firing was a pattern of unreliable behavior on the set and that Twentieth Century Fox felt it was in the film’s best interest to have another director finish the production.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio’s decision to oust Singer came after a growing conflict between lead actor Rami Malek, who’s playing Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, and the director, apparently over Bryan being frequently absent from the set.

Singer’s no-shows reportedly led Malek to lodge a complaint with the studio about the director being unprofessional and unreliable. At one point, tensions apparently led to Singer throwing an object at Malek, although the two are said to have eventually resolved their conflict.

The Hollywood Reporter says that cinematographer Thomas Newton Sigel had to fill in as director on a number of occasions when Singer didn’t show up on set.

The Hollywood Reporter cites sources as saying that that Singer did not return to the London set after a Thanksgiving holiday break. A rep for the director told the BBC that Singer is dealing with “a personal health matter concerning Bryan and his family.”

Principal photography on the movie began this past September, and is expected to take about two more weeks to complete, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The source tells ABC Radio studio expects to have a new director on board in a few days, and that Bohemian Rhapsody is still on track to premiere in December 2018.

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