Although the Freddie Mercury biopic has grossed more than $800 million worldwide so far and garnered five Oscar nominations, including for its star Rami Malek, Singer — long accused of having sex with underage boys — is now as unemployed as Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Woody Allen.
The only producer willing to work with Singer, 53, is Avi Lerner, whose Millennium Films churns out such genre movies as “Texas Chainsaw 3D,” “The Legend of Hercules” and “The Expendables” and its two sequels.
It was announced in September that Singer would direct “Red Sonja,” a “Conan the Barbarian” comic-book spinoff that Lerner had been trying to develop for 10 years with such actresses as Rose McGowan, Megan Fox and Amber Heard in the title role.
Lerner stood by Singer last week after the Atlantic published new accounts of four men who claimed they had sex with Singer when they were teenagers. Singer dismissed the story as “a homophobic smear piece.”
“I know the difference between agenda-driven fake news and reality, and I am very comfortable with this decision,” Lerner said, in a statement. “In America people are innocent until proven otherwise.” In 2017, an ex-employee accused Millennium Films of widespread sexual harassment.
But Singer is only “attached” to the movie and doesn’t have a contract yet. Sources said Lerner would be loath to pay Singer the full $10 million reported to be his fee.
“Avi is a bargain hunter,” one movie veteran said. “He sees an opportunity to hire a top director at less than a top salary. They may be able to reach a deal.”
If Singer does direct, finding a star to play the lead will be difficult and big-name actresses are expensive.
A rep declined to comment on the movie’s contracts.
This article originally appeared on Page Six.