Troubled Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody halts production

Hiatus caused by the “unexpected unavailability” of director Bryan Singer according to Twentieth Century Fox

Bryan Singer, Getty, BD

Production of the troubled Queen biopic has been halted because of the “unexpected unavailability” of director Bryan Singer, the film makers have said.

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“Twentieth Century Fox Film has temporarily halted production on the Queen biopic due to the unexpected unavailability of [director] Bryan Singer,” the studio said in a statement late last night.

A representative for the director told Variety that the move was due to “a personal health matter concerning Bryan and his family. Bryan hopes to get back to work on the film soon after the holidays.”

The film, which is due to be released in Christmas 2018, stars Mr Robot star Rami Malek as Queen’s frontman, Freddie Mercury who died of complications from HIV/AIDS in 1991 at the age of 45.

Ben Hardy is playing drummer Roger Taylor and the Hollow Crown’s Gwilym Lee is guitarist Brian May with Lucy Boynton playing Mercury’s lifelong friend Mary Austin. Mercury formed Queen with May and Taylor in 1970 and went on to record a string of his including We Are the Champions and Bohemian Rhapsody.

However, it is not the first time the project has experienced teething problems.

The movie, which has been in the works for nine years, has seen a string of actors attached to play Mercury.

These include Sacha Baron Cohen whose acrimonious departure from the film was capped with an interview with US radio host Howard Stern in which he spoke openly about disagreements with members of Queen that led to his decision to quit.

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After Baron Cohen’s departure, Ben Whishaw was attached to the role with Dexter Fletcher set to direct, but that line-up also came to nothing, with subsequent rumours linking the likes of Dominic Cooper and Daniel Radcliffe with the role.