Director Of “Freddie Mercury Biopic” Has Hired Lead Actor To Play Freddie Mercury
Producers behind the upcoming biopic about late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury apparently have found an actor to take on the lead role as well as a director for the project. Deadline reports that Ben Whishaw, who played Q in the 2012 James Bond film Skyfall, will portray Mercury, while actor-turned-filmmaker Dexter Fletcher will direct the flick.
Whishaw takes over the Mercury role from Sacha Baron-Cohen, who bowed out of the film earlier this year after reportedly having disagreements with Queen's surviving members about the direction of the project. In addition to the Skyfall appearance, Whishaw's credits include playing Keith Richards in 2006's Stoned and portraying one of six characters based on Bob Dylan in 2007's I'm Not There.
As for Fletcher, he's had a long acting career that's included parts in The Elephant Man; Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; and Kick-Ass. His directorial debut came in 2011 with Wild Bill, which he followed with 2013's Sunshine on Leith, a film based on a stage production inspired by the music of The Proclaimers.
According to Deadline, Fletcher has been meeting with Queen members "to get a feel for [the band's] story," and is planning to begin filming in 2014. The movie is being co-produced by GK Films' Graham King and Tim Headington, Queen Films, Robert De Niro and American producer Jane Rosenthal. The producers reportedly have secured the rights to many of Queen's classic songs for use in the flick.
The biopic will follow Mercury's story from Queen's rise to fame through the band's historic performance at 1985's Live Aid festival at London's Wembley Stadium.