Though it evidently didn’t hurt the film’s Oscar chances, production on the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody was a well-publicized trainwreck that involved original director Bryan Singer getting fired from the project for repeatedly failing to show up to set and allegedly throwing something at star Rami Malek. Also, just days after being replaced by Dexter Fletcher for the remainder of the Bohemian Rhapsody shoot, Singer was sued for allegedly sexually assaulting a teenager for a third time. Then, in October of last year, a report came out that claimed Fox was very wary about hiring Singer for the project, with insiders suggesting that he’s been extremely difficult to work with for years and wondering why he has continued to get big projects like this despite having a reputation for running tense and disorganized film sets.
Nobody apparently thought to warn Rami Malek about any of this, though, as he says he went into Bohemian Rhapsody with no idea about any allegations that had been raised against Singer. Speaking with the Los Angeles Times, Malek says that he believes he was being considered for the role long before Singer was officially brought on board, so he had already spent a year preparing for playing Freddie Mercury and he “never really looked up.” Malek never addresses Singer’s history directly, simply noting that it was something he wasn’t aware of, but he does say that Bohemian Rhapsody fans who are aware of the allegations should recognize that Singer was at least fired from the movie. “That can be something that they can look at from a perspective of understanding why they can appreciate the film,” he says.
In Malek’s defense, it makes sense that he wouldn’t have been aware of any allegations until recently, as it wasn’t until the last few years that Hollywood stopped having a painfully short memory about this sort of thing. Back in 2014, Singer was hit with two separate lawsuits accusing him of sexual assault, and while both suits were dropped within a few months, they did introduce the allegation that Singer is part of a secret “sordid sex ring” in Hollywood—an allegation that has popped up regularly since then. Also, last we heard, Bryan Singer was still attached to direct a Red Sonja movie.