Bohemian Rhapsody — a film about the life and times of rock band Queen and frontman Freddie Mercury — is set to hit screens Christmas 2018. The biopic — which is being directed by Bryan Singer — covers the 15 years from the band’s formation, through their many hits, and climaxing with Queen’s triumphant performance at Live Aid in 1985.
Speaking about the project last week, Singer told Entertainment Weekly: “Let’s make an accessible movie that celebrates the music. Tell the story — of course — the hero’s journey story of Freddie’s trajectory through that music and his life and make it in a way where as many people who love the music can experience the film, a film that is for all ages but doesn’t shy away from the story.”
Singer announced the film’s cast via the following post on Instagram…
So who are the four guys charged with the task of bringing Queen to life onscreen? The following is our guide to the actors playing Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor.
Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury
The Queen biopic was announced in 2010, with Sacha Baron Cohen playing Freddie, the lead singer with the amazing voice, and writer of mega-hits “Somebody to Love,” “Don’t Stop Me Now,” “We Are the Champions,” and of course, “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
But that didn’t work out, with Cohen leaving the project because of fears that the film would shy away from the darker elements of Mercury’s life, and focus too much on the band’s efforts to continue after the singer’s death. Ben Whishaw — who plays Q in the Bond movies — then reportedly landed the role, only to be replaced by Rami Malek, as can be seen in the first picture from the film below…
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) September 6, 2017
Malek first rose to prominence as Egyptian Pharaoh Ahkmenrah in the Night at the Museum movies, while he appeared in 24 and The Pacific on the small screen and Battleship, The Master and the final Twilight movie in cinemas. He also received rave reviews for his performance in indie drama Short Term 12.
But Malek is best known for playing Elliot Elderson in Mr. Robot. The tale of a cyber-security engineer who moonlights as a hacker, the show has won a whole bunch of Emmys and Golden Globes, including multiple acting awards for Malek’s remarkable turn as the deeply troubled Elderson.
Gwilym Lee as Brian May
Brian May is the lead guitarist in Queen, and writer of some of their biggest hits, including “We Will Rock You,” “I Want It All,” “Who Wants to Live Forever,” and “The Show Must Go On.” He also has one of the greatest afros in rock.
Gwilym Lee is a Bristol-born actor who has divided his time between theatre and television. Onstage, he appeared in Richard III, Oedipus and King Lear, while in 2009 he played Laertes opposite Jude Law in an acclaimed production of Hamlet.
On TV he has had minor roles in the likes of Lewis, Fresh Meat and Ashes to Ashes, while he played DS Charlie Nelson in the 2016 series of Midsomer Murders.
More recently Lee played Samuel Castell in prestige drama Jamestown, about the struggles faced by the first English settlers in the New World.
Joseph Mazzello as John Deacon
John Deacon is guitarist in Queen, and wrote the likes of “I Want to Break Free,” “You’re My Best Friend” and “Another One Bites the Dust,” which ended up being the band’s biggest selling single.
Joseph Mazzello was a child star who appeared in Presumed Innocent and played Elijah Wood’s younger brother in Radio Flyer. He then became one of the most recognisable kids in the world thanks to his role as Tim in Jurassic Park, the impossibly cute kid who is electrocuted, chased by the T-Rex, and very nearly eaten by a pack of Velociraptors.
Mazzello worked steadily thereafter, with roles in Shadowlands, The River Wild, Simon Birch, and dino-sequel The Lost World: Jurassic Park. But his two most high-profile gigs have been in The Pacific (opposite the aforementioned Malek) and The Social Network, in which he played Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz.
Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor
As Queen’s drummer, Roger Taylor is responsible for some of the greatest beats in rock ‘n’ roll history. Most notably the absolute banger found in “We Will Rock You.” He also wrote “Radio Ga Ga” and “A Kind of Magic,” and co-wrote “Under Pressure” and “These Are the Days of Our Lives.”
Ben Hardy is best-known to UK audiences as Peter Beale in long-running soap-opera EastEnders, a role he played for three years. He then made the move to Hollywood that few soap stars manage, appearing as Angel in X-Men: Apocalypse.
Since then Hardy has been busy, though we’re yet to see the fruits of his labours, with firefighter drama Only the Brave and historical biopic Mary Shelley yet to hit screens. And before Bohemian Rhapsody gets released, Hardy will also be seen in a TV version of gothic classic The Woman in White.
Bohemian Rhapsody is released Christmas 2018.