Spirit Awards: John Waters Jokes 'Bohemian Rhapsody' "Doesn't Really Have a Director"
While Bryan Singer is credited as the film's sole director, he was fired a few weeks before production ended and replaced by Dexter Fletcher, and those behind the film have barely mentioned Singer's name during awards season.
Leave it to provocative filmmaker John Waters to take a shot at the director drama around Bohemian Rhapsody.
At the 2019 Independent Spirit Awards, host Aubrey Plaza said that the awards show was being directed by Waters, cutting to Waters in the control room, where he joked that the ceremony "like Bohemian Rhapsody, doesn't really have a director."
The remark prompted audible gasps from the audience at the independent film awards ceremony, taking place on the beach in Santa Monica.
While Bryan Singer is credited as Bohemian Rhapsody's sole director, the helmer was fired from the movie with just weeks to go in production after a series of absences. Dexter Fletcher took over and completed filming but is just credited as an executive producer, with Singer also being stripped of his producer credit.
During promotional appearances for the film and awards season, the team behind the film, including star Rami Malek who had an on-set altercation with Singer before the latter was fired, have mostly avoided mentioning Singer, including during acceptance speeches in which other individuals behind the film, even late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, were thanked.
Those affiliated with the film faced another issue with Singer when additional sexual abuse allegations against the director emerged just a day after the Oscar nominations were announced.
Earlier this month, Malek spoke out about his experience with Singer, telling The Hollywood Reporter's Scott Feinberg: "In my situation with Bryan, it was not pleasant, not at all. And that's about what I can say about it at this point."
"For anyone who is seeking any solace in all of this, Bryan Singer was fired. Bryan Singer was fired, I don't think that was something anyone saw coming, but I think that had to happen and it did."
Still, Singer was fired for not showing up to work on the film, not due to sexual abuse claims, which have been leveled against Singer a few times in recent years. Malek said he was unaware of those allegations before he signed on to play Mercury. But speaking about the latest claims in the same discussion with Feinberg, he said, "My heart goes out to anyone who has to live through anything like what I've heard and what is out there. It's awful, it's remarkable that this happens, I can appreciate so much what they've been through and how difficult this must be for them. In the light of the #MeToo era that this somehow seems to exist after that, it's a horrible thing."
While Bohemian Rhapsody isn't up for any Spirit Awards, with its production budget being too large for the film to be nominated, it is up for five Oscars including best picture and best actor, for which Malek is a favorite to win.