Amidst all the stalling and controversies surrounding the upcoming Queen biopic titled Bohemian Rhapsody, the creators have made remarkable progress. Rami Malek, who playsElliot Alderson in the award-winning television series Mr Robot, has been cast as the central figure, that is, Queen vocalist and frontman Freddie Mercury.
Bohemian Rhapsody is a project that has the remaining members of the legendary band, Brian May and Roger Taylor, closely associated with it. May and Taylor, who were thelead guitar player and drummer respectively, will produce the music for the film. But the film’s production had previously run into trouble for controversies surrounding Mercury’s portrayal in it. Comedian and actor Sacha Baron Cohen, who was earlier brought aboard the project to play the band’s deceased frontman, ended up quitting the project over disagreements about how Mercury’s character would be placed within the film. He later went on to talk about it publicly, inviting strong criticism from May and Taylor for spreading “untruths about what happened”. Baron Cohen, on the other hand, felt the projectwas not quite dedicated enough to the troubled legend that he was to portray.
Freddie Mercury was born to Parsi parents and grew up in Zanzibar and in India before his parents settled down in England. The multi-talented singer-songwriter-musician was known not only for his expansive vocal rangebut also for all the controversies he was entangled in. During a time when sexuality was one of the reigning taboos in the world, Mercury’s bisexual orientation was brought under close scrutiny. He ultimately died at the age of 45 after a prolonged period of suffering from AIDS.
Malek is not the first actor to be signed on to play Mercury since Baron Cohen’s departure from the project. In 2013, Brian May announced thatBen Whishaw, known for playing Q in the James Bond film Skyfall, would play the coveted part. But Rami Malek’s recent addition to the cast holds promising prospects. At the Emmys this year,Malek won himself the well-deserved award for Best Actor for his character in Mr Robot.
Bohemian Rhapsody will go on the floors in early 2017.