Striking back against rumors surrounding his allegedly erratic conduct on the set, director Bryan Singer has issued a statement claiming he was terminated from the upcoming Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody because the studio refused to let him care for a sick parent.

As previously reported, production was unexpectedly halted after Thanksgiving, with Singer's temporary unavailability cited as the reason for the holdup. Several days later, Fox announced he'd been removed from the project; according to rumors reported by film industry trades Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, the set had devolved into "chaos," and Singer's relationship with star Rami Malek had turned openly confrontational.

Singer's firing is just the latest in a series of setbacks for the long-gestating project, which churned through creative talent and prospective stars for years before finally landing Malek in the leading role of late Queen singer Freddie Mercury. But according to Singer, rumors of a troubled set are unfounded; as he sees it, he was let go for making what appears to be an eminently reasonable request.

Insisting he "wanted nothing more" than to see Bohemian Rhapsody to completion — and "honor the legacy of Freddie Mercury and Queen" by doing so — Singer said Fox refused to let him "temporarily put my health, and the health of my loved ones, first."

"Bohemian Rhapsody is a passion project of mine. 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," wrote Singer. "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."

Additionally, Singer claimed that while he and Malek did have "creative differences" at points during the shoot, they'd been settled by the time Singer was relieved of his duties as director. Whatever the truth of the matter might be, the end result is the same: a movie that's struggled to find its way to theaters will have to work its way through at least one more round of woes before — or if — filming finally wraps.

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