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Queen Biopic with Rami Malek Set to Shoot in September

Sunday Jul 16, 2017

The on-again/off-again the Queen biopic is on again.

According to a report in Sunday's New York Times, the legendary rock band posted on their website that "preproduction will begin next week in Britain, with filming starting in London as early as September." Bryan Singer (the "X-Men" franchise) will direct with Rami Malek, star of USA Network's "Mr. Robot," will play late front man, Freddie Mercury.

The film, which has the working title "Bohemian Rhapsody," has been in the planning stages for a decade. Initially, Sacha Baron Cohen was slated to play Mercury but dropped out due to differences with the band members, specifically guitarist Brian May. The Times cites an appearance of Cohen on the Howard Stern show where he discussed his differences with May.

"Brian May is an amazing musician. But he's not a great movie producer," Cohen said at the time.

May later responded: "He went off and told untruths about what happened."

Out actor Ben Whishaw was attached to the project at one point, but dropped out. Malek's involvement was announced last November, but the Sunday announcement appears to have cemented his involvement.

"He has a great presence, and he's utterly dedicated to the project, which is wonderful," said May of Malek. "We've spent a little time with him. He's completely living and breathing Freddie already, which is just wonderful to see. And we have a fabulous producer in Graham King, who's probably the greatest independent producer in or out of Hollywood. And he's put together a great team. And we have a really, really great script. Finally."

The Times adds: "The statement said that Queen's memorable performance at Live Aid in 1985 would be 'faithfully recreated' in the film, and that casting for the rest of the band would be announced at a later date."

Freddie Mercury and Brian May


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