Ben Whishaw (Skyfall) is set to play Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in a new biopic from GK Films. Dexter Fletcher (Wild Bill) will direct.
GK Films’ Graham King is producing, with Sony Pictures getting a first-look deal for the project. King has been attempting to get the film made for years, and at one point Sacha Baron Cohen was set to play Mercury.
Fletcher was an actor before he became a director, appearing in films including Guy Ritchie’s Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels. He has been meeting with the band to get an idea of the story. The intention is to get the movie going next year even if Sony doesn’t want to get involved.
The film will tell the story of the creation of the band, finishing with the Queen headlining Live Aid in 1985, considered one of the best performances in rock. Mercury died on November 24, 1991 due to complications of AIDS. His death helped remove some of the stigma that those with AIDS had at the time, especially in the rock music industry. His final days will not be shown in the film.