The last we heard of the hotly-anticipated though seemingly plagued Freddie Mercury biopic, Queen guitarist Brian May had assured fans that the film was “in good shape,” while Roger Taylor was indicating that James Bond actor Ben Whishaw would play the lead––now confirmed.
As Pedestrian.tv reports, Deadline today confirmed that the actor, best known for his performances in Skyfall, Bright Star, and Cloud Atlas, has landed the role, following Taylor’s revelation that they were considering an actor with initials “BW,” confirming BW as Whishaw when probed.
Borat‘s Sacha Baron Cohen was previously slated to fill the ostentatious Mercury shoes, but left the project on amicable terms with producers May and Taylor, with the former saying the decision was based on the potential for Cohen’s performance to supersede the biographical element.
“We thought there has to be no distraction in the Freddie movie,” said May. “You have to really suspend that disbelief. The man who plays Freddie, you have to really believe is Freddie. And we didn’t think that could really happen with Sacha. That’s not any criticism of his talent whatsoever.”
According to Flicks and Bits, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels actor Dexter Fletcher will direct the film, with GK Films’ Graham King producing, and Sony Pictures lined up to distribute. Fletcher has reportedly been meeting with the band to flesh out the Queen story.
Production is hoped to be underway in 2014, regardless of Sony’s involvement, with the story, as previously reported, set to span the years leading up to Queen’s headlining performance at Live Aid in 1985. The rights package includes many Queen hits including, of course, Bohemian Rhapsody.