The rock band Queen, formed in 1970, is getting the biopic treatment. There was some back and forth on who would portray the legendary frontman Freddie Mercury, with Sacha Baron Cohen, Ben Whishaw and Adam Lambert all at one point committed to play the singer.
It’s a little dizzying trying to keep up with the changes in the lineup, but, ultimately, the role has been finalized (hoorah!) with Rami Malek, who you probably recognize as the lead from Mr. Robot, signing on the dotted line. The film, Bohemian Rhapsody, is set to release on December 25, 2018.
He’s not only confirmed to be playing Mercury, but has already nailed the look. He gave us a little teaser via Twitter last week (August 31):
I just had my make up, hair and costume tests as #FreddieMercury and it was overwhelmingly cool and truly unforgettable. Pics coming soon.
— Rami Malek (@ItsRamiMalek) August 31, 2017
As promised, here he is in full Freddie mode, with the on-stage stance and cocked head and all:
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) September 6, 2017
If you’re impressed by the transformation, you’re not alone. Malek himself was a little awestruck, telling Entertainment Weekly, “When you’re able to open your eyes and see a different person staring back at you in the mirror, it’s a very affirming moment.”
But, of course, it’s not just about the look. There’s the acting, naturally — and, of course, the singing.
Malek explained how that will work, because it may be difficult to match the singer’s four-octave range: “We’re going to use Freddie as much as possible and use myself as much as possible.”
The film will start off in 1970 when the band formed, continuing through 1985 when they took the stage at Live Aid.
Director Bryan Singer (X-Men) talked about the time frame, saying, “It won’t just be the dark Freddie story, but that being said, that also will be honored. It’s about collaboration. It’s a celebration.”
Also yesterday, Malek sent out a birthday wish to the late Mercury, who would have been 71. Notice, the caption reads, “Take a closer look.” At first it seems he’s inferring that he is in the picture as Mercury. No, no, that’s definitely Freddie Mercury and his Queen bandmates Brian May, John Deacon, and Roger Taylor.
But we followed his advice and looked a little closer… Oh! Malek’s own reflection is also in the snap:
— Rami Malek (@ItsRamiMalek) September 5, 2017
So, to sum up, we now not only have the name of the film — Bohemiam Rhapsody — but also the release date (December 25, 2018) and confirmation of its star. Things are falling into place.
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