About Your Privacy on this Site
Welcome! To bring you the best content on our sites and applications, Meredith partners with third party advertisers to serve digital ads, including personalized digital ads. Those advertisers use tracking technologies to collect information about your activity on our sites and applications and across the Internet and your other apps and devices.
You always have the choice to experience our sites without personalized advertising based on your web browsing activity by visiting the DAA’s Consumer Choice page, the NAI's website, and/or the EU online choices page, from each of your browsers or devices. To avoid personalized advertising based on your mobile app activity, you can install the DAA’s AppChoices app here. You can find much more information about your privacy choices in our privacy policy. Even if you choose not to have your activity tracked by third parties for advertising services, you will still see non-personalized ads on our sites and applications. By clicking continue below and using our sites or applications, you agree that we and our third party advertisers can:
  • transfer your data to the United States or other countries; and
  • process and share your data so that we and third parties may serve you with personalized ads, subject to your choices as described above and in our privacy policy.
Entertainment Weekly

Movies

Queen biopic director says film 'won't just be the dark Freddie story'

Posted on

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018 movie)

release date11/02/18
Movie Details
type
Movie
Genre
Biopic,
Rock
release date11/02/18

Before Bohemian Rhapsody was a film directed by Bryan Singer and starring Mr. Robot lead Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury, it was a project with Borat mastermind Sacha Baron Cohen attached to play the legendary Queen frontman.

That casting was first announced back in 2010 when Cohen — who bears a striking resemblance to Mercury during his later years (the Boart mustache certainly helped) — was still riding a large wave of popularity from 2006’s Borat. But no less than three years later, Cohen had left the project.

In the fallout, Queen guitarist Brian May, who serves a producer on the film, claimed that Cohen’s presence would have “distracting,” despite parting on good terms. Cohen told another story to Howard Stern during a radio interview last year. According to him, there were warning signs early on, when a member of the band indicated that Mercury would die halfway through the film. The focus would then purportedly shift to the remaining members’ efforts to carry on as a band.

“The problem is — and I think it’s with any biopic, and I fully understand why Queen wanted to do this — if you’re in control of your rights and your life story, why wouldn’t you depict yourself as great as possible?” Cohen said at the time.

Since Cohen left the project, it has gone through a number of changes, including a rewrite and a brief affair with Skyfall‘s Ben Whishaw playing Mercury, before finally landing with Singer as director and Malek as star. Production is starting, and a release date is set for Christmas 2018.

But do Cohen’s complaints about the film remain?

Nick Delaney/Fox

Speaking with EW for a first look at Malek in full wardrobe ahead of the production’s start, Singer laid out his vision for the movie, acknowledging the difference in opinions of how Mercury’s life should be portrayed on screen.

“Let’s make an accessible movie that celebrates the music,” he says. “Tell the story — of course — the hero’s journey story of Freddie’s trajectory through that music and his life and make it in a way where as many people who love the music can experience the film, a film that is for all ages but doesn’t shy away from the story.”

Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody covers the 15-year span, from Queen’s formation to their iconic performance at Live Aid in 1985, six years before Mercury’s AIDS-related death. That timeline would seem to negate Cohen’s “halfway” dilemma, though reports dating back as early as 2010 mark Live Aid as the film’s climax.

According to Singer, having the movie built to a moment years before Mercury’s death doesn’t necessarily mean that his demise will be ignored. “I’m not shying away from the specifics of Freddie Mercury’s dilemma and health dilemma,” he says. “The emphasis of the film is on the music and the journey that Freddie took with these three other incredibly talented men.”

“It won’t just be the dark Freddie story, but that being said, that [aspect of him] also will be honored,” Singer continues. “I would be remiss not to. There’s a way to do it—without getting into the specifics of how I’m doing it—which has been discussed among all participants and we feel it’s being honored, but at the same time, it’s about the music.”

type
Movie
release date
11/02/18
director
Cast
Rami Malek
Studio
20th Century Fox
Outbrain

Tags