The Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody was a huge winner at Sunday night’s Golden Globe awards, taking home awards for both Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, for Rami Malek. The wins position the film, which was a box office hit, but less than well-received by critics, with some momentum heading into the Oscar nominations.
But there was a strange subplot to the evening for Bohemian Rhapsody. Bryan Singer, the film’s director, did not appear to be present at the Golden Globes ceremony, nor was he thanked or even mentioned in either acceptance speech.
Singer, who also directed The Usual Suspects, Superman Returns, and several films in the X-Men franchise, was fired from Bohemian Rhapsody near the end of production in late 2017 and replaced by Dexter Fletcher, although Singer remains the sole credited director. Singer was fired as director, it was reported at the time, because of extended absences from the set, with reports also emerging that he and Malek had clashed.
But around the same time, longstanding rumors about the director having been accused of sexual abuse again came to the surface. Indeed, in December of 2017, a lawsuit was filed alleging that Singer had raped a then-17-year-old boy in 2003. Singer denied the charges, per BBC, but began to withdraw from the public eye around that time. Variety reported in October that Esquire magazine was working on a major expose about Singer, but no such article has yet appeared.
Yes!! Rami’s acceptance speech @ItsRamiMalek ... to Queen @QueenWillRock .. and thank you to Freddie Mercury you beautiful man ????????????????@BoRhapMovie #GoldenGlobes2019 pic.twitter.com/yADqdqbv6o— Christine Goodfriend (@GoodfriendC) January 7, 2019
“I have known for some time that Esquire magazine may publish a negative article about me,” Singer wrote in an Instagram post at the time, per Variety. “They have contacted my friends, colleagues and people I don’t even know. In today’s climate where people’s careers are being harmed by mere accusations, what Esquire is attempting to do is a reckless disregard for the truth, making assumptions that are fictional and irresponsible.”
Singer has had no role in the promotion of Bohemian Rhapsody, was not nominated for Best Director at the Golden Globes, and no critics groups honored him for his work on the film. Fox’s “For Your Consideration” page lists Singer as a contender for Best Director, along with numerous technical people who worked on the film and seven different supporting actors, including Mike Myers.
The question of Singer’s past, and what it means for the film’s chances, is likely to emerge as a major storyline in the weeks leading up to the Academy Awards. The nominations will be announced on January 22, while the ceremony will take place February 24, with a host yet to be announced.