Deadline reports that the long-in-development Freddie Mercury biopic, starring Ben Whishaw (Skyfall) as the late frontman of the rock band Queen, has found its director in actor-turned-filmmaker Dexter Fletcher, who recently directed the musical Sunshine on Leith.
With a screenplay by Peter Morgan (The Queen), the film long had Sacha Baron Cohen attached to play Mercury until he dropped out recently, although GK Films would not let that hinder them from moving the anticipated project forward with a lower-profile actor in the lead.
Himself a British actor who has appeared in a number of films including Guy Ritchie’s Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barels and Matthew Vaughn’s Kick-Ass, Fletcher’s directorial debut was the British crime-comedy Wild Bill, which he followed this year with “Sunshine.”
According to the story, Fletcher has already been meeting with the band and getting a feel for how to tell the story with plans to put the movie into production next year. The film covers the band’s early years leading the way to their Live Aid performance in 1985 and it won’t be about Freddie Mercury’s untimely death due to complications from AIDS in 1991.
As with most films produced by GK Films, Sony has the first option to distribute the film, which is sweeter by the Queen songs included in the package, such as “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You,” “We Are the Champions,” “Another One Bites The Dust” and “Youre My Best Friend.”
Whishaw is a well-known British stage actor who got his big break headlining the adaptation of Perfume, but he’s become more known recently when he took on the role of Q in James Bond’s Skyfall, a role he’ll reprise in the next Bond film.
(Photo source: WENN.com)