Director Bryan Singer reportedly stands to make upwards of $40 million from the hit Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody despite being fired from the film mid-production and later accused of sexual assault. Singer still holds the directorial credit for the film and, because of a “strong backend provision in his deal,” is likely to receive a hefty final paycheck, inside sources told the Hollywood Reporter.
Singer was fired from the Rami Malek-starring film in 2017 with two weeks left of shooting for failing to appear on set. Director Dexter Fletcher then came on to take the reigns alongside producer Graham King. However, only one director may receive credit for a film per Academy rules, so Singer retained his credit after leaving and will likely earn backend compensation.
Sources also told THR that Fox, the studio that co-financed and released Bohemian Rhapsody, is reportedly “exploring its legal options in terms of its financial obligation to Singer.”
Bohemian Rhapsody has earned $817 million worldwide thus far, according to Entertainment Tonight. In addition, the film has received five Academy Award nominations including Best Picture and a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Drama. Malek has also earned recognition and critical acclaim for his role as the late British rock music icon Freddie Mercury.
Earlier this month, a report was published in the Atlantic accusing Singer of sexual abuse and misconduct. A new report has since detailed the allegations, telling the story of four men claiming to have been molested as teens by Singer in the late 1990s. The Atlantic allegedly spoke to over 50 sources on the matter throughout the course of a year-long investigation.
The director has never been charged with a crime, and his lawyer told the publication that Singer “categorically denies ever having sex with, or a preference for, underage men.”
Later, in his own statement provided to multiple outlets, Singer referred to the expose as a “homophobic smear piece” designed to tear down his success following Bohemian Rhapsody.
Bohemian Rhapsody now stands to suffer from the allegations, as the film has already been removed from contention for a GLAAD Media Award. GLAAD announced their decision to disqualify the film last week.
“This week’s story in the Atlantic documenting unspeakable harms endured by young men and teenage boys brought to light a reality that cannot be ignored or even tacitly rewarded,” the statement read, according to NME.
The film had been nominated for the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film–Wide Release.
Singer is still set to direct the upcoming female-empowering film Red Sonja for Millennium Films.