20th Century Fox confirmed Wednesday to USA TODAY that Eddie the Eagle director Dexter Fletcher has taken over directing duties on Bohemian Rhapsody.
The news comes after fired filmmaker Bryan Singer came back swinging in response to the news that he was let go from the film.
Reports surfaced that Singer had been absent from the set in recent weeks, forcing production to shut down last Friday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Singer now says he was in the U.S. helping an ailing parent.
“I wanted nothing more than to be able to finish this project and help honor the legacy of Freddie Mercury and Queen, but Fox would not permit me to do so because I needed to temporarily put my health, and the health of my loved ones, first," Singer told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement.
"With fewer than three weeks to shoot remaining, I asked Fox for some time off so I could return to the U.S. to deal with pressing health matters concerning one of my parents," Singer told the outlet. "This was a very taxing experience, which ultimately took a serious toll on my own health. Unfortunately, the studio was unwilling to accommodate me and terminated my services."
Singer also shot down reports that he and star Rami Malek, who plays Mercury in the biopic, clashed on set. "While, at times, we did have creative differences on set, Rami and I successfully put those differences behind us and continued to work on the film together until just prior to Thanksgiving," he said.
The film has been in production in London since September. Singer's unreliable behavior is said to have become untenable for the studio.
“Bryan Singer is no longer the director of Bohemian Rhapsody,” 20th Century Fox spokesman Dan Berger confirmed to USA TODAY Monday in a statement.
Bohemian Rhapsody had languished in development over the past decade, with Sacha Baron Cohen once attached to star. Singer confirmed Malek had signed on for the role last November.
The film's release date was previously set for Dec. 25, 2018.
USA TODAY has reached out to representatives for Singer.