Bohemian Rhapsody, the long-in-the-works movie about seminal British rock band Queen, is getting closer to a start. Deadline broke the news last year that Bryan Singer was in talks to direct with Mr Robot star Rami Malek playing legendary frontman Freddie Mercury. Queen’s official website has now said the film is “as-close-as-that” to the start of shooting, with pre-production beginning this week in the UK. Principal photography in and around London is being eyed as soon as mid-September.
Graham King is producing via his GK Films for 20th Century Fox and New Regency. The project has been in development with King for about nine years and the most recent script is from Theory Of Everything scribe Anthony McCarten. The pic currently has a December 25, 2018 release date.The folks at Queenonline.com say Singer is the “perfect choice to recreate the fabulous Queen years which brought us such unforgettable moments as Live Aid.” That 1985 benefit concert will be “faithfully recreated for a key sequence in the film,” notes QOL.
Malek as the strutting, operatically-voiced Mercury is “utterly dedicated to the project,” according to bandmembers Roger Taylor and Brian May. “He’s completely living and breathing Freddie already, which is wonderful.” Taylor and May are also executive music producers on the movie.QOL is clearly havin’ a good time with the project, posting a casting call for male and female extras “with 70s & 80s hair.”
Previous incarnations of the project had been rooted at Sony. Sacha Baron Cohen had been aboard as Mercury and Peter Morgan writing, before creative differences scotched that plan. Later, Ben Whishaw was to star with Dexter Fletcher directing, but more creative issues nixed that team-up.