Ever since Sacha Baron-Cohen dropped out of the planned Freddie Mercury a few years ago there’s been much speculation over who will replace him, however there’s been less talk about who will direct. Now Deadline reports that actor turned director Dexter Fletcher (Wild Bill, Sunshine on Leith), will helm.
It’s also been confirmed that as rumoured for the past couple of months, Ben Whishaw will play Mercury. He’s now officially made a deal to star.
Fletcher has apparently been meeting with the surviving members of Queen to get a better feel for the story. The movie will be a coming-of-age tale, leading up to Queen’s iconic Live Aid performance at Wembley Stadium in 1985, which is considered one of the great rock performances of all time. Peter Morgan, Christopher Wilkinson and Stephen J. Rivele wrote the screenplay, with production slated to begin next year.
Mercury died of AIDS in 1991, although his last days will not be part of the film. There will be plenty of Queen music. It was reported that Baron-Cohen left as he wanted a gritty, warts-and-all tale, while Queen is hoping for a more family friendly film, and that is why he left. Because of this, the presumably won’t get into the wilder side of Freddie’s life and sexuality.