Director Bryan Singer is set up to collect $40 million for his work on the Freddie Mercury/Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody (which he is credited on as director) even though he was fired with two weeks of production to go and replaced by director Dexter Fletcher.
The $40 million payout is due to a “strong backend provision” in his contract, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which added: ‘Singer likely negotiated a percentage of profits after the $50 million movie broke even, as well as box office bonuses at various milestones.”
THR added: “Backend could be forfeited if a director is fired for cause (studios reserve the right to fire over creative differences). Singer was indeed fired….but he retained credit, thus ensuring some sort of contingent compensation, according to top dealmakers who work with directors and producers. A negotiated resolution in this case was likely, say sources, but that would have been before Rhapsody became an $800 million box office behemoth.”
Read more at THR.
Earlier this month The Atlantic published the results of a year-long investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by Singer over a period of two decades and said it spoke with more than 50 sources, including four who were being heard for the first time.
Singer blasted The Atlantic in a statement, saying, “I am forced to reiterate that this story rehashes claims from bogus lawsuits filed by a disreputable cast of individuals willing to lie for money or attention. And it is no surprise that, with Bohemian Rhapsody being an award-winning hit, this homophobic smear piece has been conveniently timed to take advantage of its success.”
Avi Lerner, the producer of Singer’s next film Red Sonja, said the director would remain attached to the film (with a career-high $10 million fee) in the wake of the Atlantic exposé.
Bohemian Rhapsody was removed as a best original film nominee at this year’s GLAAD Media Awards, this week in the wake of the Atlantic exposé. GLAAD told Variety that “it has pulled the film from contention for the prize, in a weighted decision that takes a stand for sexual assault victims.”