By Mark Hodge (doddleNEWS)
The biopic of legendary band Queen and their iconic singer Freddie Mercury has a new frontman and an Oscar winning director after numerous false starts.
Deadline reports that screenwriter Anthony McCarten, who penned the critically acclaimed Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything, has written the script. The report also reveals that the film, which is being produced by the surviving members of Queen, will be titled after the band’s beloved smash hit, “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
The screen project has had numerous false starts, after being led for some time by Borat comedic actor Sacha Baron Cohen. After enlisting the services of Frost/Nixon writer Peter Morgan, Cohen had a spectacular falling out with the members of Queen – who he accused of wanting to make a sugar-coated biopic about Mercury. However, the band countered that the comedian wanted to make a ‘Sacha Baron Cohen movie,’ and not a balanced and honest biopic.
Following Cohen’s departure, Skyfall actor Ben Whishaw was the unlikely choice to play Mercury with Dexter Fletcher (Eddie the Eagle) taking the reins. However, when that incarnation broke down, the movie looked dead in the water.
But now with Singer, of Hollywood’s most powerful directors, steering the film – fans can rest assured that the biopic is in good hands. Actor Malek is one of the industry’s hottest properties at the moment, and bagged an Emmy for his role in Amazon’s award winning Mr. Robot – which has been commissioned for a third season.
Singer Mercury is considered one of the best frontmen of all time, famed for his extraordinary vocal range and charismatic stage presence. His flamboyant private life – which reportedly included debauched fancy dress parties featuring little people with bowls of cocaine attached to their heads – coupled with his death from AIDS in 1991, make his story ripe for the biopic treatment.
There is still no production or release date attached to the Freddie Mercury and Queen biopic, though Singer is helming a 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea film. Stay tuned for more news.