New writer takes shot at Freddie Mercury biopic; Ben Wishaw rumored for lead
I'm not sure that we're ever going to get a Freddie Mercury biopic, but you have to admire the persistance of GK Films in trying. They just won't give up.
With a project that seemed dead after Sacha Baron Cohen departed amidst creative differences with the surviving members of Queen (rumors were they would not give the go-ahead to make anything less than a wholesome PG-style film about the band and their late frontman rather than something that examined some of the skeletons in their collective closets), GK is back at it again. This time they've hired Oscar-nominated screenwriter Anthony McCarten (THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING) to take a shot at hammering out a script in the hopes of reviving the picture.
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY is supposedly the title they'd like to attach to this, and everyone seems sweet on Ben Whishaw right now to take the lead role, but once again, it's all going to come down to the tone this picture strikes and whether or not Queen is ready yet to travel down that road.
I don't know that anyone, including longtime fans of the band, want to see a drooling love letter to Mercury and Queen. It doesn't strike me as interesting to see a bloated puff piece be the first shot to try telling this story and telling it well. The best biopics are the ones that celebrate the legacy of their subject matter but also aren't afraid to get their hands dirty, exploring some of the darker or more emotional turmoil that may have existed in their life. After all, this was a rock and roll band during the 70s and early-80s... To suggest that their way of life was nothing but good, clean fun would be inauthentic and hard to believe.
There are a lot of obstacles that still stand in the way from this film going anywhere. We'll have to see what type of head space the band is in these days before we now if they can be overcome.
Until there's any sort of progress, enjoy one of the best uses you're going to get of Freddie Mercury and Queen in a motion picture.