Bohemian Rhapsody, the biopic of Freddie Mercury (and the rest of Queen, of course), has had a troubled history.
Sure, everyone knows that X-Men director Bryan Singer flaked and was replaced by former Press Gang mainstay Dexter Fletcher, but even before then the project was looking dubious. Sacha Baron Cohen, once earmarked to star as the flamboyant frontman, has related how an unnamed member of Queen (flip a coin – there’s two left) thought that Mercury’s 1991 death would be the midpoint of the film, with the back half showing the band “…continuing on from strength to strength”, which is the worst Queen-related film idea since Highlander II.
Luckily, cooler, less frizzy heads prevailed, and we have an actual finished movie incoming, one that reportedly climaxes with Queen’s world-beating set at the 1985 Live Aid concert. The trailer looks pretty great. It’s more of a tonal mosaic than anything else – by god, they’ve got the costumes right – and Mr Robot‘s Rami Malek looks The Business as Mercury, with Gwilym Lee suitably big-haired as guitarist Brian May (we barely get a look at Joseph Mazzello’s John Deacon, which seems cruelly historically accurate).
There’s plenty of scandalous fun to be milked from the Queen story, none of which is present in this first trailer. All we’re saying is, if there isn’t a party staffed by uniformed dwarfs with bowls of cocaine strapped to their heads, we’ll be disappointed.
Bohemian Rhapsody is in Australian cinemas from November 1, 2018.