The long-delayed biopic about iconic British rockers Queen appears to be finally ready to take flight, with the surviving members of the band that brought us such hits as “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “Killer Queen” confirming the project is moving forward after years of false starts.
In a blog post on the band’s official website, the band writes that the biopic — titled “Bohemian Rhapsody” — “is finally happening,” adding that “the film is now ‘as-close-as-that’ to start of shooting. Pre-production begins next week in the UK to prepare for start of principal photography in around London as soon as mid-September.”
Numerous actors have reportedly been in the running for the role of flamboyant Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, with “Borat” star Sacha Baron Cohen and comedian Russell Brand rumoured at various times to having clinched the coveted role (Cohen, in fact, confirmed he was in talks for the role, but claims he left the project due to creative differences with the band).
According to the website, Mercury — who died from AIDS-related complications in 1991 — will be played by “Mr. Robot” star Rami Malek, while Bryan Singer (whose credits include “The Usual Suspects” and several “X-Men” movies) has signed on to direct.
In a statement to Queen Online, guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor praised the casting of Malek to play their fallen frontman. “Rami has great presence and he’s utterly dedicated to the project,” said the musicians. “He’s completely living and breathing Freddie already, which is wonderful.”
In addition, the band described Singer as “a perfect choice to recreate the fabulous Queen years which brought us such unforgettable moments as Live Aid, which we can reveal will be faithfully recreated for a key sequence the film.”
As for who will portray May, Taylor and former bass player John Deacon (who retired from the band in 1997), that information will be forthcoming, promises the band, which issued a subsequent blog post announcing a casting call in London in search of “men and women with ’70s and ’80s hair” to serve as extras in the film.
Upcoming info on the film, notes the band, will appear exclusively on Queen Online.