For nearly a decade, there have been numerous attempts to create a biopic centered around famed Queen singer, Freddie Mercury, but the project has been bombarded with obstacle after obstacle. The last big update came in December 2015, when it was reported that The Theory of Everything writer Anthony McCarten had been hired to pen the script. Well, nearly a year later, it looks like the biopic is finally back on track, with Mr. Robot star Rami Malek being tapped to play Mercury.
Malek's casting was reported by Deadline, which also mentioned that X-Men director Bryan Singer was in talks to helm the Freddie Mercury biopic. Singer soon confirmed on his Instagram page that he will indeed direct the movie, which is now titled Bohemian Rhapsody, named after Queen's hit 1975 song. 20th Century Fox and New Regency are now handling Bohemian Rhapsody with GK Films producer Graham King. The project's other key figures include producer Jim Beach and executive producer Denis O'Sullivan, as well as Mercury's Queen bandmates Brian May and Roger Taylor serving as musical producers.
Rami Malek is the latest actor to score the Freddie Mercury role. He was preceded by Borat's Sacha Baron Cohen and Skyfall's Ben Whishaw, but the former exited due to "creative differences" with the surviving Queen members over the direction of the movie, and obviously it now looks like the latter dropped out at some point. Hopefully Malek's casting will stick, as this is one project that doesn't need any more delays. After guests appearances and recurring roles on TV shows like 24, The War at Home and The Pacific, Malek has found worldwide fame playing Elliot Alderson on Mr. Robot, a role for which he won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series earlier this year. Malek's movie appearances include the Night at the Museum trilogy, Larry Crowne and Battleship. Bohemian Rhapsody, however, will surely be the movie that significantly boosts his Hollywood cred.
Bryan Singer became prominent in the 1990s for directing The Usual Suspects, but he is best known for helming four of the X-Men movies. Following X-Men: Apocalypse's release earlier this year, he said he wanted to take a break from the world of mutants, and now said break will see him helming a movie about one of the most famous rock stars of the 20th century. Singer's other directorial credits include Superman Returns, Valkyrie and Jack the Giant-Slayer, though we can only hope that Bohemian Rhapsody will be better well received from moviegoers than those other movies were. He will also direct the upcoming 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
Bohemian Rhapsody hasn't been given a release date yet, but shooting is reportedly being eyed for early 2017. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more relevant details as they come in!