Rumors have been flying around for years about a biopic centered on legendary 70s rock band Queen. In recent months, director Bryan Singer has been circling the project with Mr. Robot star Rami Malek being eyed to star. Now we can confirm that the project, appropriately titled Bohemian Rhapsody, is officially a go and will be starting pre-production very shortly, with filming expected to begin in London this September. Freddy Mercury is finally going to rock you on the big screen.
The news was announced on the official Queen website, so you can take this to the bank. Bryan Singer, who is best known for his work on the X-Men movies, is the man who will be bringing the Queen and Freddie story to the big screen. In addition to his work in the world of superhero movies, Singer has also directed movies like The Usual Suspects and Valkyrie. We'll try to ignore Jack the Giant Slayer. In any case, he is the man tasked to recreate the Queen years which brought us such unforgettable moments as Live Aid, which is confirmed to be "faithfully" recreated for a key sequence the film.
Rami Malek has signed up to take on the challenging role of Freddie Mercury, who sadly died an AIDS related death in 1991. So he arguably has the more difficult job here, since he is one of the most beloved frontmen in the history of rock music. For quite some time Sacha Baron Cohen was attached to the role, but he eventually dropped out. At this point, most of us know Malek best for TV's Mr Robot, but Bohemian Rhapsody could change that. Queen members Brian May and Roger Tyler are serving as producers on the movie and had this to say about Malik's casting.
"Rami has great presence and he's utterly dedicated to the project. He's completely living and breathing Freddie already, which is wonderful."
Queen and, more specifically, Freddie Mercury, is very deserving of a biopic. Bryan Singer may seem like an odd choice for such a thing, since we typically think of biopics as being a bit intimate. But given how massive Queen was, it makes sense to have a director who understands massive size and scope. Just having to recreate that Live Aid performance is going to be a major task. Singer can definitely handle massive size and scope.
One of the big remaining questions is who will play Roger Taylor, Brian May and John Deacon? The report didn't confirm that yet, but they did say that is news for "another day," implying that the announcement will be made soon. The most important thing is that the filmmakers are going to actually be allowed to use Queen's music in the movie, which is an essential element to something like this. If Rami Malek can pull this off, we may have something special on our hands.