Remember when Bryan Singer’s name was mysterious trending on Twitter as the allegations against Kevin Spacey came out?
Somewhere tonight, Bryan Singer is sweating profusely. https://t.co/fQTQyXz0x8— Donna Dickens (@MildlyAmused) October 30, 2017
There’s a strong chance that it’s NOT because Singer coincidentally directed Spacey in The Usual Suspects way back when. Since yesterday afternoon there has been a developing story around Singer that, while not damning in and of itself, seems sort of like the news equivalent of that arthritic ache old timers get when a storms a-comin’.
It started with The Hollywood Reporter’s exclusive reveal that Fox had booted Singer out of the director’s chair on Bohemian Rhapsody, their upcoming Queen biopic starring Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury. It was a bold move on the part of the studio, made all the more surprising because the film only had two more weeks of principal production to go. That’s a hell of a time to can your director, even if the decision was made after Singer reportedly stopped showing up on set, necessitating a production shut down on Dec. 1.
THR’s report is a juicy one with all the fun elements of unprofessional conduct. A studio that warned Singer not to step out of line before production began, likely due to his track record of not showing up to set and getting in fights with his actors. A director who — yup you guessed it — started not showing up to work and pissing off his cast, while his cinematographer would have to step in and shoot in his stead. Singer and Malek reportedly got into it after Malek complained to the studio about Singer’s unreliability and disappearing act, and the argument got so heated that Singer threw something (not at Malek, but still). Malek’s co-star Tom Hollander also supposedly quit the film because of Singer’s behavior, though he was eventually coaxed back.
Everyone supposedly settled their differences… and then Singer took off for the Thanksgiving break and never returned to set (the film is shooting in London, and he’s purportedly been in the U.S. for the past week and a half).
Obviously Singer’s version of events is different — he cites health concerns for his parents as the reason why he wanted time away from the film, which the studio was unwilling to accommodate.
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. Rumors 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 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.
So, OK, taken at face value this is just the story of a troubled film shoot. What’s the big deal? Well, there are other factors that hint at something larger developing. Like, for instance, this:
It's also worth noting that Singer's longtime publicist, Simon Halls, is no longer representing him. His contact is now his lawyer.— Kate Aurthur (@KateAurthur) December 2, 2017
Or the fact that Fox didn’t renew their first look deal with Singer’s production company, Bad Hat Harry, which ended in October. And now they’re clearing out their office on the Twentieth Century Fox studio lot. Mind you, Singer is the guy behind almost everything X-Men, so it’s odd that Fox would be cutting ties with him entirely…
If you’re sick of reading between the lines, you can just go to Radar who have helpfully filled in all the juicy gossip for you. But really, you know where this is going…
For years there have been rumors about Singer’s sexual misconduct, including pedophilia. In 2014 a man named Michael Egan filed a civil suit against Singer and a few other Hollywood figures, accusing them of sexual assault starting when he was a mid-teen. The case fell apart though, and it didn’t seem to impact Singer’s career (it doesn’t hurt that Egan later pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud).
Of course, there’s also this:
A tidbit worth noting about Bryan Singer's APT PUPIL, a film about an adult Nazi who develops a sublimated homoerotic vibe with a nubile teen boy pic.twitter.com/izUXwmKBJe— Charles Bramesco (@intothecrevasse) December 5, 2017
Right now everyone seems to be waiting to see if Singer is going to be the next Hollywood figure to fall in the face of sexual misconduct allegations. And while none of the current spate of Singer news seems to have any connection to it, who knows what’s really going on behind the scenes. Time will tell, but it definitely feels like something big is on the horizon …