In May 20th Century Fox gave audiences an initial glimpse of their upcoming Queen biopic with the first teaser for “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The studio just followed that up on July 17 with the first full-length trailer featuring Rami Malek as the band’s lead singer Freddie Mercury. Does it rock you? Find out above.
The film explores the formation and rise of the band, from industry and media doubts about their music (“Mark these words: no one will play Queen!”), to the compositions of their iconic songs “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Will Rock You,” to their famous 1985 performance at Live Aid. The trailer also indicates that the film will address Mercury’s sexuality. The first teaser was criticized for leaving out any mention of the singer’s queer identity, which he was coy about during his life, so this first full-length trailer might allay those fears.
If Queen had a rocky road on their way to music stardom, this biopic was no different in getting to the screen. It had been in development for years, with Sacha Baron Cohen and Ben Whishaw previously attached to the leading role. It finally began shooting in September 2017 with director Bryan Singer (“The Usual Suspects,” “X-Men”). But then Singer was fired in December, with Dexter Fletcher (“Eddie the Eagle”) brought in to complete filming.
The film is scheduled to open on October 24 in the UK and on November 2 in the US, which is prime real estate in the fall awards season. Films about musicians have done well at the Oscars in the past, with Jamie Foxx winning Best Actor for playing Ray Charles in “Ray” (2004), Reese Witherspoon claiming Best Actress as June Carter in “Walk the Line” (2005) and Jeff Bridges taking Best Actor as a fictional country music star in “Crazy Heart” (2009).
Malek has never contended at the Oscars before, but he has already made a name for himself thanks to his Emmy winning role in “Mr. Robot” and his big-screen appearances in films like “The Master” (2012), “Short Term 12” (2013) and “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” (2013). Do you think he’ll win an Oscar as Freddie Mercury?