First look: Rami Malek is the spitting image of Freddie Mercury in new biopic

Ben Arnold

It looks like Rami Malek has nailed his Freddie Mercury stance, then.

Courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, this is the first look at the ‘Mr Robot’ star as the legendary Queen frontman in the forthcoming biopic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.

Directed by ‘X-Men’ helmsman Bryan Singer, it will follow the band from its formation in 1970, through to the iconic performance at Live Aid in 1985.

Malek will be debuting his singing voice too.

“We’re going to use Freddie as much as possible and use myself as much as possible,” Malek told EW.

“I’m in Abbey Road [Studios] right now if that should say anything to you. I’m not working on my acting.”

Singer added: “It won’t just be the dark Freddie story, but that being said, that also will be honored. It’s about collaboration. It’s a celebration.”

Whether by ‘dark’ Singer means it won’t broach Mercury’s diagnosis with AIDS is not known for sure, but Mercury’s condition was first reported in 1986, after the Live Aid show.

Sacha Baron Cohen was previously attached to play Mercury in the movie, but pulled out after clashing with former band members.

Speaking to Howard Stern, Cohen said: “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.’

“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.’

“There are amazing stories about Freddie Mercury. The guy was wild. There are stories of little people walking around parties with plates of cocaine on their heads!”

He added that he believed that the band ‘wanted to protect their legacy’.

Brian May later slated Cohen, telling the Daily Mail: “Sacha became an arse. We had some nice times with Sacha kicking around ideas, but he went off and told untruths about what happened.

“Why would he go away and say that we didn’t want to make a gritty film? Are we the kind of people who have ever ducked from the truth?” he went on. “I don’t think so.”

Ben Whishaw – and director Dexter Fletcher – were also attached to the project at one stage, with Malek signing up last November.

The movie is due for release in December, 2018.

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