British rock band Queen hit the big time in the 1970s with smash hits like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions.” Led by flamboyant singer Freddie Mercury, the band enjoyed great success throughout the 1980s, right up until Mercury died in 1991. The following year, “Bohemian Rhapsody” was featured in the hit comedy Wayne’s World, renewing interest in the band’s music in the U.S.
Band member John Deacon retired in 1997; suriving members Brian May and Roger Taylor have continued to record and perform as Queen in the years since. As far back as 2008, Sacha Baron Cohen was touted to play Mercury in a movie about the band, to be written by Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon). Cohen departed the project the following year due to creative differences with May and Taylor. Reportedly, Cohen wanted to take a “gritty…tell all” approach while the band members favored a more family-friendly movie. Later, Ben Whishaw was penciled in as Mercury with Dexter Fletcher directing, but that didn’t work out either.
Now the project has been rekindled with news via Deadline that Rami Malek (top), known for his starring role in TV’s Mr. Robot, will star as Freddie Mercury and Bryan Singer is in talks to direct the movie, currently titled Bohemian Rhapsody. Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything) wrote the latest version of the script.
Singer is known for directing X-Men: Apocalypse and other blockbuster action movies, but he’s also helmed thrillers such as The Usual Suspects and Valkyrie, as well as producing a variety of television shows, so the idea of him directing a period musical drama sounds exciting.
Adding fuel to the report, Singer posted a photo of Queen on social media with a typically cryptic caption, referencing the project without actually confirming his involvement. Plans are to start production early next year, so we’ll wait to hear more.