Last week we found out who would be playing the rest of Queen opposite Rami Malek’s Freddie Mercury in the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody (Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor, Joe Mazello as John Deacon and Gwilym Lee as Brian May). Now another actor has joined the cast, playing a man who could play a key role in the script and end up as the movie’s ‘villain’.
Allen Leech (Downton Abbey, The Imitation Game) will play Paul Prenter, according to Deadline. Prenter was a close friend (and probably former lover) of Freddie Mercury, who became his personal manager during the height of Queen’s fame. However, his reputation was forever sullied when in the late 80s he took payment from the British tabloids for details about Mercury’s personal life, such as telling them that two of Freddie’s former lovers had died of AIDS. Inevitable that added to growing media speculation that the singer also had the disease (something that wasn’t publicly known at the time). Afterwards the two men never spoke again.
It’s not known if the film will tell that part of the story though, as earlier versions of the script ended around the time of Queen’s triumphant performance at Live Aid. However, that was before Bryan Singer signed on to direct, so things may have changed.
Bohemian Rhapsody starts shooting soon, with plans for an awards season release at the end of 2018.