Rami Malek’s Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody is turning up the volume.
The star was on hand at Fox’s CinemaCon presentation on Thursday, where he introduced the first footage from the upcoming film. The clip — which has not been released online yet — opens on a young Mercury as he asks to join a newly formed band: Queen. The footage then follows the young singer as his star rises, and it included snippets of Queen classics like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Radio Gaga,” “We Are the Champions,” and “We Will Rock You.”
Malek took the stage to “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” and he opened up to the audience about why he decided to take this role and why Mercury stands as one of the most influential musicians of all time.
“One thing I will say is when I got this role, I thought, ‘Oh my God, this could be a career-defining performance,’” Malek told the audience. “And about two minutes later, I go, ‘This could be a career killer.’ I’m not kidding. You don’t get this right, and it’s trouble. He is, without a doubt in my mind, the greatest performer that has existed. I may be a little biased, but when I started to study him, everything I learned about him, watching him, beginning to emulate him… There is no one like this human being. Behind him is one of most prolific bands of all time, and together they’ve created music that not only speaks to us, but I think every generation. It’s imbued in our DNA now.”
“What he does in his music is he gives everyone watching this ability to embrace all of their imperfections and sing as loudly as they can,” Malek added. “That’s what he did for me.”
He also said the film has gotten a stamp of approval from the surviving members of Queen.
“The greatest compliment I could get was the other day after Mr. Brian May emailed me after seeing the movie and saying how moved to tears he was, and that if Freddie were here today, he would not and could not be more proud of what we were able to achieve,” Malek said. “And that is something I’m gonna take to the grave.”
Fox also released two new stills from the film — one of Malek and Gwilym Lee, who plays May, and another of the whole band onstage.
Bohemian Rhapsody will hit theaters Nov. 2.