Channelling Freddie Mercury is no mean feat, but a 90-second trailer for “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the forthcoming biopic of the singer and Queen, the legendary British group he fronted, suggests that “Mr. Robot” star Rami Malek is one of the best possible candidates for the job.
The trailer presents lots of recreated concert footage — with vintage costumes and equipment, ranging from the group’s glam-influenced beginnings to Mercury’s ballet-tutu outfits of the late ‘70s and his more butch wardrobe from the ‘80s — along with several key moments from their career, including the band’s scepticism while recording “Bohemian Rhapsody” (“The operatic section? Okay…,” says Gwilym Lee, who portrays guitarist Brian May), the record company’s scepticism when considering the song’s release as a single (“’Six minutes is forever’? I feel sorry for your wife,” Malek quips to the label exec) and the run-up to their career-defining performance at Live Aid in 1985, and more.
How the film will handle more delicate moments — such as Mercury’s realization that he was gay, and the group’s fervent denials that the singer was suffering from AIDS even up until his death of complications from the disease in 1991 — remains to be seen, but the trailer shows promise.
Malek previewed footage from the film at CinemaCon in Las Vegas last month.
“I thought when I got the part that this could be a career-defining performance. Then I thought, ‘This could be a career-killer if I don’t get it right’,” Malek told the audience.
The footage included performances of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Are the Champions.” “What always had me was his ability to give people the ability to embrace their imperfections,” Malek said.
Producer Graham King also said the film, which opens Nov. 2, will fulfill audiences’ expectations.
“This is a story that has something for everyone,” he said. “Freddie Mercury connected like only a handful of performers have ever done. I am so humbled to be part of Queen’s legacy.”