Rami Malek to play Freddie Mercury in Queen movie Bohemian Rhapsody

By Rebecca Hawkes

Freddie Mercury of Queen performs on stage at Live Aid at Wembley Stadium in London. Photo / Getty Images
Freddie Mercury of Queen performs on stage at Live Aid at Wembley Stadium in London. Photo / Getty Images

Mr Robot star Rami Malek will play flamboyant Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in a forthcoming biopic about the band titled Bohemian Rhapsody, it was revealed yesterday.

Bryan Singer, known for his X-men movies, is in talks to direct the film, according to Deadline.

Rami Malek (right) as Elliot Alderson, in the television series Mr Robot.
Rami Malek (right) as Elliot Alderson, in the television series Mr Robot.

The project itself, however, has been in development for the past eight years. Borat and Grimsby star Sacha Baron Cohen was previously attached to the role, but left after a disagreement with an unnamed surviving member of Queen.

"A member of the band - I won't say who - said: 'You know, this is such a great movie because it's got such an amazing thing that happens in the middle,'" Baron Cohen told US radio host Howard Stern (via the Radio Times) in an interview earlier this year.

"And I go: 'What happens in the middle of the movie?' He goes: 'You know, Freddie dies.' ... I go: 'What happens in the second half of the movie?' He goes: 'We see how the band carries on from strength to strength.'

"I said: 'Listen, not one person is going to see a movie where the lead character dies from Aids and then you see how the band carries on.'"

Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen aka Ali G as Borat, in the movie Borat.
Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen aka Ali G as Borat, in the movie Borat.

Mercury died in 1991, at the age of 45, of Aids-related pneumonia. Brian May, Queen's lead guitarist, later claimed that Baron Cohen's allegations were untrue.

Malek, who is 35, has received widespread critical claim for his portrayal of hacker Elliot Alderson in Mr Robot, as well as an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series .

But earlier this year, in a conversation with the Marvel star and "Mr Robot superfan" Robert Downey Jr, published by Interview Magazine, the actor said that he did not want to be typecast...and hinted that an excitingly different project could be on the horizon.

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"I don't want people to look back and think, 'This character was entirely in his wheelhouse, and he's probably going to end up playing a bunch of paranoid guys who have conspiracy theories.' Which could easily happen!" said Malek.

"I've had my fair share of 1970s conspiracy movies delivered over. I would love to turn around and do something polar opposite, and that might actually be happening soon. If the right people are involved and the script is just as powerful, I'd like to make some even crazier choices."

- Daily Telegraph UK

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