After years of buzz, chatter, and back and forth, it looks like producer Graham King’s “passion project” about Queen frontman Freddie Mercury is finally getting moving, though with a very different talent line-up than we might have been expecting.
Deadline reports that the feature, long set to star Sacha Baron Cohen before the funnyman dropped out after years of attachment, will now star Ben Whishaw, best known for his newish role as Q in the James Bond franchise, his solid work in British TV show The Hours, and his creepy-crawly role in Perfume. Whishaw is currently finishing up a role in Ron Howard’s very demanding In the Heart of the Sea.
British director Dexter Fletcher has also been tapped to direct the feature, so it seems as if King’s dream project is finally becoming a reality. Fletcher is also an actor who has turned his talents to directing as of late – he first helmed Wild Bill and just wrapped up Sunshine On Leith, a musical that pulls from the songbook of The Proclaimers (and was originally a stage hit), so he’s got musical chops to spare. Despite a promising directing career, Fletcher still finds time for fun acting roles – he’ll next be seen in Muppets Most Wanted.
The director has reportedly been meeting with the remaining members of the band and “getting a feel for the Queen story.” The band’s songs are part of the movie package, thankfully, so this thing will at least sound authentic. As of now, it’s unknown if Whishaw will actually sing as Mercury, though we suspect that won’t happen.
The film will reportedly start filming sometime next year.
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