The Freddie Mercury biopic that’s been in development for quite a while now may have finally found its star, with a new report indicating that Mr. Robot actor Rami Malek has been hired to play the Queen frontman.
The report — which hasn’t been confirmed by studio 20th Century Fox at this point — also indicates that X-Men franchise director Bryan Singer is in talks to helm the film, currently titled Bohemian Rhapsody.
According to Deadline, the biopic is being fast-tracked by the studio after a long period of development that had various stars, writers, and directors attached to the film, only to see them eventually exit the project.
The film features a script by Oscar-nominated The Theory of Everything screenwriter Anthony McCarten, with original Queen band members Brian May and Roger Taylor attached to serve as music producers on the project. Bohemian Rhapsody is expected to chronicle the performer’s early years, the time leading up to and during his work with the band, right up until his death in 1991. Considered one of the greatest musicians, singers, and performers in the history of modern music, Mercury died at age 45 due to complications from AIDS.
Earlier versions of the film had The Dictator and The Brothers Grimsby actor Sacha Baron Cohen attached attached to portray Mercury, as well as Skyfall actor Ben Whishaw.
Cohen had been aboard as Mercury, with Peter Morgan writing, before creative differences scotched that plan. Later, Whishaw was to star, with Dexter Fletcher (Eddie the Eagle) directing, but more creative issues nixed that team-up. Fletcher and High Fidelity director Stephen Frears were both attached to the project at various points as well.
Bohemian Rhapsody is expected to begin production early next year.
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