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The Bio-Pic of the Rock Band Queen and Their Lead Singer, Freddie Mercury
Published Date: 18/06/2018
Bohemian Rhapsody is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury, who defied stereotypes and shattered convention to become one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. The film traces the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound, their near-implosion as Mercury’s lifestyle spirals out of control, and their triumphant reunion on the eve of Live Aid, where Mercury, facing a life-threatening illness, leads the band in one of the greatest performances in the history of live music. In the process, cementing the legacy of a band that were always more like a family, and who continue to inspire outsiders, dreamers and music lovers to this day.
Playing the iconic Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury is Rami Malek (The Pacific, Mr. Robot) and the acclaimed young actor certainly felt the weight of expectation, seeing it as “a career-defining performance” or “a career-killer if I don’t get it right.”
Oscar winning producer Graham King (The Departed) paid tribute to Mercury’s ability to “connect like only a handful of performers have ever done.”
After original director Bryan Singer departed Bohemian Rhapsody, Dexter Fletcher was chosen to take over the production. Fletcher is no stranger to a big screen musical after directing Sunshine on Leith and has also won plaudits for directing Wild Bill and bio-pic Eddie the Eagle.
Speaking to IndieWire Fletcher admitted “it was an extraordinary set of circumstances,” which saw him taking over the director’s chair.
Fletcher had actually been slated to helm the film way back in 2010 and yet it wasn’t until December of last year that he actually was announced as director. “We got quite far down the line with my version of Bohemian Rhapsody, which unfortunately, never came to fruition,” said Fletcher.
“When there was a gap to be filled just at the end of last year, the producers got in touch, because they knew I knew the material and I’d been involved.”
“They sort of said, ‘Look, this is a film that needs to be finished,’ and they trusted me with that responsibility,” said Fletcher, who estimates he joined the Fox project when principal photography was two-thirds complete. “I came into the last few weeks of principal photography and editing and the bits and pieces like that. So I was lucky to have a really good input to something, but it’s really about watching what had been already created and being part of that. It wasn’t like changing and reinventing the wheel.”
It has yet to be confirmed if either Fletcher or Singer will have sole directing credit, or indeed if they will share the title.
Two things that Fletcher is sure of is that “everyone will be very pleased with how it has turned out, because it is a great film” and secondly that the performance by Malek is a “revelation … a tour de force, really.”
Starring alongside Malek are Ben Hardy as drummer Roger Taylor, Gwilym Lee is portraying lead guitarist Brian May and Joe Mazzello is in the role of bass guitarist John Deacon. Lucy Boynton is playing Mary Austin, lifelong companion of Mercury.
Bohemian Rhapsody opens at Showcase on October 24