Mr Robot star Rami Malek has signed on to play Freddie Mercury in Queen biopic Bohemian Rapsody.
The actor recently won the ‘Best Actor’ award at this year’s Emmys for his portrayal of Elliot Alderson in Mr. Robot, beating the likes of Bob Odenkirk, Liev Schreiber and Kevin Spacey.
Malek plays a computer whizz who is a cyber-security engineer by day and a vigilante hacker by night in the show; he is then recruited by an underground group led by Mr. Robot, played by Christian Slater. The second season of the US series is currently being aired in the UK on Amazon Prime.
According to the Guardian, Bohemian Rhapsody has been in production for eight years, with Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor on board as music producers. Earlier this year disagreements about the direction the film should take caused Sacha Baron Cohen – who was originally cast as Mercury – to walk away from the project.
Speaking to US radio host Howard Stern in March, Baron Cohen said he disagreed with May and Taylor over how much of the film should be dedicated to Mercury.
The comedian and actor said: “A member of the band – I won’t say who – said: ‘You know, this is such a great movie because it’s got such an amazing thing that happens in the middle.’”
“And I go: ‘What happens in the middle of the movie?’ He goes: ‘You know, Freddie dies.’ … I go: ‘What happens in the second half of the movie?’ He goes: ‘We see how the band carries on from strength to strength.’
“I said: ‘Listen, not one person is going to see a movie where the lead character dies from Aids and then you see how the band carries on.’”
Further details of Bohemian Rhapsody are yet to be announced.