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Dexter Fletcher to helm Queen biopic with Ben Whishaw as Freddie Mercury

Ben Whishaw is the killer Queen.

The actor has been tapped to play the role of legendary frontman Freddie Mercury. The biopic has also snagged Dexter Fletcher as the helmer. If Fletcher's name rang any bells in your noggin, you might know him best as "Soap" in Guy Ritchie's LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS. Acting isn't his only trade. Fletcher directed 2011's WILD BILL and recently completed directing duties on the broadway musical SUNSHINE ON LEITH.

The actor and helmer have met with the members of Queen to discuss the story, and the plan is to get the movie going by next year whether Sony steps in or not. I'd also like to note that this now seems to be more of Queen story than one centered on Mercury.

Here's what the film will cover with a script from Peter Morgan (FROST/NIXON, RUSH):

"The pic will tell the formative coming-of-age story of the group, culminating in Queen headlining Live Aid in 1985. Queen’s performance is considered one of rock’s all-time great concert appearances. Mercury died November 24, 1991, of complications from AIDS, and while his death helped to remove the stigma of AIDS sufferers prevalent at that time and particularly in the rock music industry, Mercury’s last days won’t be the subject of the film. Script is by Peter Morgan and King’s producing with Tim Headington and Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal’s Tribeca Productions, and Queen Films. Among the tunes that are in the rights package are “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions,” “Another One Bites The Dust” and “You’re My Best Friend.”

As for Whishaw, he's a great actor. Not to mention that he's been done the musician thing before: once as Bob Dylan in I'M NOT THERE and then had a turn as Keith Richards in STONED. While I really wanted Sacha Baron Cohen for the role, I'd like to see what Whishaw can do with it.

Extra Tidbit: SUNSHINE ON LEITH is the name of The Proclaimer's 1988 album which features the popular song "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)". The musical uses songs from the band. Not only that, but it's the favorite band of the 10th Doctor, David Tennant.
Source: Deadline

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