Deadline exclusively reports that Mr. Robot actor Rami Malek is attached to play Freddie Mercury in the long-development biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, with Bryan Singer in talks to direct.
The project is being fast tracked at 20th Century Fox and New Regency working with producer Graham King under his GK Films banner, a film that King has been working development on for the last eight years. The most recent script draft, penned by Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything) focuses on the band and its iconic lead singer. King will producer alongside Jim Beach, with Denis O’Sullivan serving as executive producer and Queen band members Brian May and Roger Taylor serving as music producers. The report states that they eye shooting the film early next year.
This is the latest incarnation of the biopic project, with Sacha Baron Cohen originally attached to play Freddie Mercury on a script penned by Peter Morgan when the project was still at Sony Pictures, but Cohen departed from the project due to creative differences. More creative issues lead to Ben Whishaw playing the role with Dexter Fletcher in the directors chair being scrapped. Personally I was all set way back when Cohen was in the lead to play Freddie Mercury as I thought potentially it was the perfect fit, but a few years have passed now and while I like Malek and glad he’s getting the chance to play an iconic figure, though I still have my reservations on the biopic as a whole due to Cohen’s words earlier in the year explaining his reasoning for departing the project, which involved Mercury passing away halfway through the film and the film then focusing on the band’s life after Freddie Mercury. Whether the script has had several rewrites since that however remains to be seen.