It’s been a long road but the light seems to be peaking through the end of the dark tunnel in regards to getting a proper biopic of iconic Queen singer Freddie Mercury on the big screen. As Variety reports today, Mr. Robot breakout Rami Malek is now confirmed to play Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, the hugely anticipated take on the unparalleled rock singer, who died from AIDS at the age of 45. On top of Malek’s confirmed involvement, Bryan Singer is currently in talks to direct the feature, which would be his first non-superhero film since the amiable Valkyrie.
This is pretty major news for people who have been watching the drama of this long-gestating drama unfold over the many years. It might have even been over a decade at this point, honestly. For the longest time, Borat himself Sacha Baron-Cohen was set to play Mercury, an announcement that made most Queen fans throw tizzies that would put Donald Trump supporters to shame, which is 100% understandable. Queen is not one of those cool bands that has one or two songs that perk you up when they’re played on the radi…your Spotify playlist. Songs like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Killer Queen,” “Bicycle,” and “We Are The Champions” are known by all, but Queen’s true fans are obsessive in a way Rush fans are obsessive or even Phish fans, minus all the Bernie Sanders paraphernalia.
Now that Cohen is out, however, will Queen die-hard be able to warm to Malek? For me, it’s a pretty daring choice and Malek certainly has the general looks to pull off what they’re going for here. His work on Mr. Robot would be prerequisite enough for the gig, but mind you, Malek has done even more fearless work in The Master, Short Term 12,and Spike Lee‘s undervalued remake of Park Chan-wook‘s Oldboy; he also stood out in HBO’s The Pacific, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, and, weirdly, Need for Speed. My confidence in Singer is not quite as airtight but I’m frankly impatient to see how he does with the shift in gears from X-Men. Now, let’s just all hope neither of them summon the unholy ire of Queen’s brilliant, influential guitarist Brian May, whose ranting against Baron-Cohen seemed to be a weighing factor in him not getting the role.