"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".
Singer was sacked from the project December 4 after what the studio said were unexplained absences from the set, although the director countered the studio refused to give him time off to care for an ill parent. "This was not my decision and it was beyond my control", he had said.
Singer, for his part, has issued a statement in response to the new reports, arguing that "I wanted nothing more than to be able to finish this project and help honor 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".
Singer says that he and Malek had patched up their differences after clashing.
Fox had no comment on the statement.
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Nearly as quickly as it let go of its first director, the "Bohemian Rhapsody" biopic has found a new helmer.
After Thanksgiving, Singer never returned to the set, remaining in the USA while production was halted in London.
Filming has been taking place in London. The producers are Graham King, Singer, and Jim Beach, Queen's longtime manager. The movie is being directed by Bryan Singer, and we were being told that Singer was stepping back from the production. Sources said Malek had complained about what he perceived as Singer's lack of professionalism.
Fletcher has been roped in following the firing of Singer, who was declared "unexpectedly unavailable" by studio Twentieth Century Fox. He didn't return to the set following Thanksgiving break, leading to production being stuck for ten straight days.
Singer's replacement, Fletcher, most recently made a film about another famous British man: ski jumper Eddie Edwards, who competed in the 1988 Winter Olympics.
A new director for the Queen biopic is expected to be named in the days to come, and whoever it will end up being, they will only have two weeks left for principal photography.