20th Century Fox wrapped its CinemaCon session this morning with a first look at the long-gestating Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, introduced by producer Graham King and star Rami Malek. After all the behind-the-scenes turmoil the film experienced, Malek assured the exhibitor crowd that the film would be monumental, and detailed his passion and his extensive preparation for the film.

“One thing I will say is when I got this role, I thought this could be a career-defining performance; about 2 minutes later I thought this could be a career killer,” said Malek.

Rami Malek
REX/Shutterstock

“For me, the greatest task was how do I approach this, said Malek. “As an actor, you look at the humanity of someone… that humanity was what gave me the strength to go.”

Fox delivered an intense trailer to the room showing the young songwriter Mercury who lucked out and arrived at the right time to become Queen’s lead singer. They couldn’t get any of their songs on the radio, and that’s when they started experimenting with percussion and razor-sharp harmonies, a move that propelled the group to rock-star status.

Dexter Fletcher took over as director from Bryan Singer,  who was fired from the film late last year because of a pattern of unreliability, including him being AWOL from the production for three days.

Around Caesars Palace here at CinemaCon, Fox has taken over some elevator doors promoting the film, simply with its title logo.

The pic opens November 2.