Mr. Robot actor Rami Malek landed the coveted role of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in November 2016. Now, we have our very first look at the role, released on what would have been Mercury’s 71st birthday.
Malek will be playing the singer in the Bryan Singer-directed film Bohemian Rhapsody. It’s set to hit theaters Christmas day in 2018.
Needless to say, there’s a lot riding on this performance. Mercury is one of the most famous musicians as well as an important figure in the LGBTI community. His look, history, and voice are all very well-known.
So let’s see how Malek is doing in the looks department.
Well, he definitely looks the part. A lot.
There’s no saying how the voice part will go, but Malek disclosed details to Entertainment Weekly.
‘We’re going to use Freddie as much as possible and use myself as much as possible,’ he said, alluding to the fact the movie will use both Malek as well as recordings of Mercury. ‘I’m in Abbey Road [Studios] right now if that should say anything to you. I’m not working on my acting.’
Still people to win over
As great as Malek looks, the movie is still mired in controversy.
It began with original actor Sacha Baron Cohen dropping out of the movie after clashing with the band. According to Cohen, he disagreed with the trajectory of the film — focusing the second half of the film on the band following Mercury’s death.
‘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,’ Cohen told Howard Stern. ‘There are amazing stories about Freddie Mercury. The guy was wild.’
However, Cohen claimed the band members weren’t interested in those stories and instead ‘wanted to protect their legacy as a band’.
The matter of Mercury being HIV-positive is also a matter of concern for fans.
There is cause to believe the movie will downplay or erase both Mercury’s sexuality as a prominent bisexual figure and his diagnosis with HIV.
Many fans are conflicted about the movie because of these issues.
So what do you think of Malek’s first photo at Mercury?