EXCLUSIVE: Aaron McCusker has been cast as Freddie Mercury’s lover Jim Hutton in 20th Century Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody, which is being directed by Bryan Singer. Hutton was a key figure in Mercury’s life — a hairdresser and boyfriend who was with Mercury for the last six years of Queen frontman’s life. Hutton nursed him when he was ill and was by his side when he died in 1991. Mercury died wearing a wedding ring that Hutton had given him.

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After they developed a relationship together, however, Mercury often would distance himself from Hutton publicly, but privately they were heavily involved in a long-term romance. Like Hutton, McCusker is Irish (but lives in London). Mercury is being played by Mr. Robot‘s Rami Malek.

After Mercury died, Hutton wrote Mercury and Me, a book about their life together that chronicling their relationship with many photos. He died of cancer in early 2010.

So it’s a nice role for McCusker, who recently wrapped the sci-fi feature Incoming opposite Scott Adkins. Production on Bohemian Rhapsody is underway, and the film is slated for U.S. release on December 25, 2018.

Justin Haythe (Red Sparrow, Revolutionary Road) penned the script with Graham King, Jim Beach and Singer producing. Denis O’Sullivan, Arnon Milchan, and Jane Rosenthal are executive producers. Kira Goldberg is overseeing the project for the studio.

McCusker also starred opposite Stanley Tucci, Christopher Eccleston and Michael Gambon in Sky Atlantic’s Fortitude. He was a series regular on period drama The Astronaut Wives Club for ABC. Before that, he came off of seven seasons of UK’s Shameless.

He is repped by the Artists Partnership and Link Entertainment.