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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 April 2019

Bryan Singer stands to make $40 million from 'Bohemian Rhapsody' despite being fired

The director's payday comes amid accusations of sexual assault and coercion

Director Bryan Singer was fired from 'Bohemian Rhapsody' with only two weeks of shooting left. AFP 
Director Bryan Singer was fired from 'Bohemian Rhapsody' with only two weeks of shooting left. AFP 

Despite being fired and surrounded with controversy following allegations of rape and sexual misconduct, Bryan Singer could earn more than $40 million (Dh147 million) from Bohemian Rhapsody.

The 53-year-old director was fired from the project weeks before the end of production, but according to The Hollywood Reporter that hasn't affected his takings from the Academy Award-nominated film. "Thanks to a track record of years of hit-making (including the X-Men franchise) and what is said to be a strong back-end provision in his deal, Singer’s final payday for the Freddie Mercury biopic is expected to exceed the $40 million range," the publication reports.

After repeatedly not turning up to set, fighting with staff and disappearing for "days on end", the filmmaker was dismissed with just two weeks of shooting left. Executive producer Dexter Fletcher (Rocketman director and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels actor) was brought in to complete the film.

Fletcher did not receive a director's credit.

From left: Gwilym Lee, Rami Malek and Joe Mazzello in a scene from 'Bohemian Rhapsody,' which has been nominated for an Oscar for best picture. AP
From left: Gwilym Lee, Rami Malek and Joe Mazzello in a scene from 'Bohemian Rhapsody,' which has been nominated for an Oscar for best picture. AP

The news that Singer could still earn "back-end compensation" has frustrated many in Hollywood, including Fox, the studio behind the movie, which has so far earned upwards of $800 million (Dh3 billion) at the box office.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox is "exploring its legal options in terms of its financial obligations to Singer".

Twitter outrage over payday news

A number of Twitter users have been vocal about their disgust that Singer is still set to earn such a sum.

"Crime really does pay doesn't it? Sorry Singer... you deserve NONE of that payout! If anything the cast and your alleged victims deserve the payout, NOT you," @ItsAKindOfRoger wrote.

Others retweeted THR story with their messages of disapproval:

Assault allegations

Many are outraged because the payday comes amid accusations of sexual assault and coercion – some of which come from teenage boys. However, Singer was not fired because of the allegations.

An investigation from The Atlantic, which was released this week, saw Singer's accusers "speak out", with allegations that "cover a spectrum".

"Some of the alleged victims say they were seduced by the director while underage; others say they were raped," The Atlantic reports. "The victims we interviewed told us these experiences left them psychologically damaged, with substance-abuse problems, depression, and PTSD.

"Their accounts suggest that Singer didn’t act alone; he was aided by friends and associates who brought him young men."

Updated: January 31, 2019 04:33 PM

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