35 year old Emmy-winner Malek is set to play the iconic rock frontman in 'Bohemian Rhapsody' when it finally begins filming next year.
The 35 year old star, who won an Emmy for his role as the troubled hacker Elliot Alderson in ‘Mr. Robot’, is to play the late rock icon in a biopic movie that’s set to be directed by X-Men’s Bryan Singer, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Singer himself confirmed the news of his and Malek’s involvement via his own Instagram account on Friday night (November 4th), sharing a photo of the four Queen members’ faces as they appear in the ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ video.
Continue reading: 'Mr Robot' Star Rami Malek To Portray Freddie Mercury In Queen Biopic
The Queen singer gets an asteroid for his 70th birthday.
Freddie Mercury would have been 70-years-old today, and to mark his birthday, the International Astronomical Union has decided to name an asteroid after him. His Queen co-member Brian May was on hand to celebrate the new proposal as part of the Freddie For A Day party in Montreux, Switzerland; the same town where his statue stands overlooking Lake Geneva.
Freddie Mercury gets an asteroid named after him
Brian May announced the exciting news in a video message released at the Freddie For A Day 70th birthday party at Montreux Casino, which benefits the AIDS charity Mercury Phoenix Trust. He briefly outlined everything that is known about this particular celestial body and read out the citation from the certificate issued by the IAU. Plus, there's a short video of the asteroid in action at the end.
'The International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Centre, which operates out of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, has deemed it their duty and their pleasure to name an asteroid after Freddie', said Brian May. 'It's out in the main asteroid belt beyond the orbit of Mars and inside the orbit of Jupiter. It's about 3.5km across, it has an albedo of about point 3 which means it only reflects about one third of the light which falls upon it.'
Asteroid 17473 Freddiemercury was coincidentally first discovered in 1991, the year of his death. According to May, it can be seen from Earth, but only with an especially powerful telescope. 'From the Earth it shines at the fourteenth magnitude which means you have to have a pretty decent telescope to see it', he adds. 'It's just a dot of light but it's a very special dot of light.'
May also read out the commemorative certificate's citation for Freddie. 'Freddie Mercury (Farrokh Bulsara 1946-1991) was a distinguished British songwriter and the lead singer for the legendary rock group Queen', it read. 'His incredible vocal range and distinctive sound and performance style made him one of the most well-known icons of rock music and he is regarded as one of the greatest rock singers of all time.'
Incidentally, Brian May himself is an astrophysicist having finally obtained his PhD at the Imperial College London in 2007. He'd initially abandoned his PhD in the 70s as Queen became huge. He actually also had an asteroid named after him, Asteroid 52665 Brianmay, in 2008 (as suggested by Sir Patrick Moore because of the initials in the provisional 1998 BM30 designation) and went on to co-founder Asteroid Day which takes place on June 30th.
More: Freddie Mercury's childhood home honoured by English Heritage
'Freddie Mercury sang, 'I'm a shooting star leaping through the sky' - and now that is even more true than ever before', said Joel Parker of the Southwest Research Institute. 'When an asteroid is initially discovered it is given a 'provisional designation' until enough measurements have been made that its orbit is accurately determined. At that point, it is given a number and is eligible to get a name as well. In this case, the asteroid in question was discovered in 1991 and was given the provisional designation '1991 FM3'. It has been observed and its position and orbit measured over 1,100 times, and it was given the number 17473.'
Like May's asteroid, the proposal to name the rock after Freddie was partly due to the 'FM' in the initial designation. It's been quite the commemorative month for Freddie though; only last week did English Heritage unveil a blue plaque on his modest semi-detached childhood home in the London suburb of Feltham.
Crowds of Queen fans gathered as the National Heritage plaque was unveiled in Feltham on Thursday morning.
Mercury – birth name Farrokh Bulsara – lived in the pebble-dash semi at 22 Gladstone Avenue from the age of 17, when his family emigrated from Zanzibar in the autumn of 1964. While he was living there, he met his future Queen band-mates Brian May and Roger Taylor.
Says Cohen's claims against the content of the film are unfounded.
Brian May is painfully truthful about his opinion of Sacha Baron Cohen after the comedian pulled out of the Freddie Mercury biopic over disagreements about the content of the movie. When Cohen suggested that producers wanted something that was essentially a watered down reality, May wasn't happy.
Sacha Baron Cohen branded an a***
'Grimsby' star Sacha Baron Cohen could well have made the perfect Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic that's currently in the works. However, he decided to walk away from the project once he realised that it wouldn't be as candid as he'd have liked. He opened up about the conflict on The Howard Stern Show, claiming that May was 'not a great movie producer' and only interested to 'protect their legacy as a band'.
Cohen had been in talks to play Mercury, but left the biopic after disagreements on the film’s direction.
Queen guitarist Brian May has hit out at Sacha Baron Cohen, calling him an ‘arse’ over his recent comments about the planned Freddie Mercury biopic. Last month Cohen had said he left the film because the remaining members of Queen wanted to make a family friendly biopic, while the actor wanted something grittier.
Brian May has called Sacha Baron Cohen an ‘arse’.
“Sacha became an arse,” May told the Mail on Sunday. “We had some nice times with Sacha kicking around ideas but he went off and told untruths about what happened. Why would he go away and say that we didn’t want to make a gritty film?"
Continue reading: Brian May Brands Sacha Baron Cohen An 'Arse' Over Freddie Mercury Biopic
Whishaw is confirmed for the eagerly anticipated 'Mercury' biopic.
Remember Stars in Their Eyes? That was good wasn’t it, and while it may have provided an incredibly cheap platform on which to build this story – surrounding Ben Whishaw’s upcoming turn as Freddie Mercury in a biopic of the mercurial singer – we maintain its validity and quality. But that’s enough nostalgia now; it’s time to step back into 2013.
Ben Whishaw clasping his Bafta
Whishaw has replaced Sacha Baron Cohen - reports the BBC - who pulled out of playing the late Queen star because of creative differences with the band. He wanted to portray every facet of Mercury’s life included the more debauched and unsavoury times, as well as the creative entertainment powerhouse that he was. The remaining Queen members on board, though, wanted a family friendly exposition of his life, and ties were cut.
Continue reading: Tonight Matthew, I'm Going To Be Freddy Mercury - Ben Whishaw
Ben Whishaw...is the champion?
Actor Ben Whishaw has reportedly stepped in to play legendary Queen frontman Freddie Mercury after the recent departure of Sacha Baron Cohen. The 33 year-old Skyfall actor has landed the role in the upcoming biopic charting the fame of the 'Bohemian Rhapsody' rocker, The Mail on Sunday claims to have confirmed.
Ben Whishaw Is The Queen Favourite For The Role.
Baron Cohen dropped out over the summer over quarrels with the remaining Queen members regarding the film's plot. Sacha was said to be gunning for a bare-all, gritty portrayal of the singer who died in 1991 whereas the band preferred a more family-friendly storyline that celebrated Queen's music.
Continue reading: Ben Whishaw Lands Freddie Mercury Role, Replaces Sacha Baron Cohen
No Mercury biopic for me, says the Harry Potter star.
Since Sacha Baron-Cohen dropped out of the Freddy Mercury biopic, a few names have been touted for his return.
Johnny Depp was even mentioned following his high-profile flop as Tonto in Lone Ranger, and so was Daniel Radcliffe, who has moved to quash the rumours.
He told Empire magazine: "There’s no truth to it at all. It’s one of those very, very funny things: it came out of a story in the Daily Star and then you see newspapers like The Guardian using The Star as their source, and it grows and grows until it's 'Daniel Radcliffe playing Freddie Mercury!', which I was never going to do."
Continue reading: Daniel Radcliffe A No-Go For Freddy Mercury Role, But Why?
Radcliffe's the latest name to be rumoured for the role in upcoming biopic.
Sacha Baron Cohen as Freddie Mercury: it was almost too perfect. The looks, the singing ability, the eccentricity, the confidence; the planned Queen biopic was bound to be a hit. However, then Baron Cohen shocked by stepping away from the movie, and leaving the iconic role open. The 41 year-old comedian pulled out of the movie a few months ago due to "creative differences."
Daniel Radcliffe Rumoured To Play Freddie Mercury.
According to Deadline, the band who wanted a more PG-ready film whilst Baron Cohen pushed for a grittier tell-all R-rated version that would take a deeper look at the talented singer's life both on and off the stage. A compromise could not be reach and Sacha threw in the towel.
In a pretty shocking week for news, the seemingly innocuous cast-member of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Teresa Giudice, was indicted on 39 counts of fraud. Elsewhere, Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury duets are being readied for release and Katy Perry announces her new album.
Real Housewife? Turns out has been doing more than washing up, doing lunch and sorting her shoe collection. The Real Housewives of New Jersey star and husband Joe have been indicted on 39 counts of fraud and tax evasion - they face a potential 50 years in prison. Read all the details here.
What Katy Did: Want to know what Katy Perry's been up to the last couple of years? Well, making a new album of course, which she announced she week. 'Prism' will hit shelves later this year, but it won't feature her on-off boyfriend John Mayer. Read more Katy Perry's album 'Prism' here.
Is this such a good idea?
According to The Times of London, Freddie's former band mates Brian May and Roger Taylor are working on the release of three tracks recorded during a six-hour session at Jackson's home studio in Encino, California in 1983.
Writing on his website, May said: "We will have something for folks to hear in a couple of months' time, hopefully.Great evening with William Orbit working with some Queen/Freddie/Michael Jackson tapes."
Continue reading: Unheard Michael Jackson, Freddie Mercury Duets? Listen To Them Now
You can hear the two stars singing together in a couple of months
Despite allegedly falling out over a Llama (just read on), duets between Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury are to be made public for the first time this August. The pair recorded three tracks, and, with both of them in the news for various reasons, getting them out seemed imperative to both parties. We can’t work out why.
Queen's manager, according to The NME, asserted that the two musical giants didn’t see eye to eye, and that this starred out when Jackson brought a llama into the studio. "Mercury rang me and said: 'Miami, dear, can you get over here? You've got to get me out of here, I'm recording with a llama.'"
Imagine the scene: it’s 1983, Jackson and Mercury are at the height of their musical powers, dominating charts and selling out shows. A combination seems financially and artistically prudent – then Michael Jackson turns up to the studio one day with a massive llama. If there isn’t a film adaption about this, then we’re living in a bad, bad world.
Continue reading: Freddie Mercury, Michael Jackson Duets: Autumn To See Megastars Combine
The two legendary, deceased singers will rise from the dead for this pre-recorded duet series
One may have been dead for over two decades an the other for just short of half a decade, but Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson still have unfinished business with the charts as previously never-before heard duets featuring the pair are due to be released later this year. The legendary Queen frontman and the King of Pop are said to have recorded the handful of songs in California in 1983, with a full album in the pipeline, however they only got as far as recording three songs, having to abandon the project to work on their own material.
Freddie continues to inspire people today with his music
Reports are indicating that the pair teamed up for a one-time recording session in Encino, California in 1983, where they recorded three tracks together. After sitting dormant for three successive decades, it has now been announced that the songs have been re-worked and re-mastered to give us the closest possible thing to what the pair may have had in stall with their duets album. Never ones to let an easy payment on Freddie's behalf go by, Brian May and Roger Taylor have begun working on the recordings and aim to release the completed project in two months as “something for folks to hear” - as quoted in The Times - and have enlisted the help of producer William Orbit to speed up the process.
After a 'band meeting', May told fans on his official website, "The pieces are all falling into place, though we are now on a slightly later schedule - filming is now scheduled to start in the Spring, with Sacha Baron Cohen playing Freddie." According to Cinema Blend, High Fidelity director Stephen Fears is the frontrunner to helm the movie, though May failed to mention him in his latest post. Comedic actor Cohen - the man behind Borat, Bruno and The Dictator - is certainly a solid choice for the role of Mercury. The actor proved in Tim Burton's 'Sweeney Todd' that he can hold a tune, and has plenty of on-screen presence (he'll need every bit of that to portray the Queen frontman.)
Mercury was the subject of the BBC documentary' The Great Pretender' on Tuesday evening (October 16, 2012). You can read our review of the programme HERE.
How many times do we need to see a documentary on Freddie Mercury? That seemed to be the question on most critics lips as BBC1 aired 'Freddie Mercury - The Great Pretender' last night (October 16, 2012) little more than a year after their excellent Queen documentary. There is no doubting that Mercury is one of the great front man of all time, and you can never get tired of watching footage of him performing live, those great concerts at Wembley and in Rio etched into to the brain of music fans the world over.
Yet, there's only so many times Brian May and Roger Taylor can repeat their incredulity at Mercury's mental strength in the face of deteriorating physical condition. To be clear, there's absolutely no denying that Mercury's battle to the bitter end is something hugely admirable, and there's no way you can doubt May and Taylor's love and admiration for their old band mate; but they're sentiments they've uttered countless times elsewhere. Likewise, Paul Gambaccini is known as a massive Queen and Mercury fan, theire is very little he hasn't said on the band, yet there he was again, doling out the same sentiments. Interview clips of Mercury talking fly by and exhibit his cocky, self-assured personality and a lot of the time that's all you get. The documentary claims to find the contrast between his public and private persona, but we get little further knowledge about that difference apart from the - again - already well told information that he was prone to quiet and private moments.
One pleasant addition was an interview with the opera singer Montserrat Caballe, who is a relatively new voice in documentaries such as these. She revealed surprising little moments like how he stopped kissing her on the cheek after he contracted HIV, his shyness on meeting her, her revelations showing that she was one of the few collaborators Mercury met who he was totally in awe of. It was the best section of a documentary that otherwise ploughed over all-too-familiar ground. There is no doubting Freddie Mercury's legend, but the footage and angles that can be had on it are starting to be recycled.
Shot in 1986 and only just now remastered for release in the West, this documentary captures Queen in all their glory both on stage and behind the scenes. The film is divided into two parts, opening with a 27-minute exploration of the band in the "magic year" after its triumphant Live Aid performance, during which they recorded an album, scored the adventure movie The Highlander and planned a massive European tour.
Then we cut to their concert in Budapest, their first performance in Hungary, which drew 80,000 fans from throughout the Eastern Bloc. When Freddie Mercury takes the stage, the crowd goes wild, and he holds them in rapturous attention all the way through. He even performs some Hungarian folk music along the way, but they're far more interested in the band's big hits like Radio Gaga and Bohemian Rhapsody, which they sing along with loudly.
Queen rarely gave interviews, so the backstage material in this film is a fascinating glimpse into these musicians, who are all self-effacing and rather cheeky. Mercury even starts flirting with the interviewer, noting that he's not worried about struggling to connect with the foreign crowd. "I always win an audience," he says with a mischievous grin. And during the concert section of the film, we also get to see them getting out and about in Budapest, seeing the sites, meeting locals and generally clowning around.
Continue reading: Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen - Live In Budapest Review
Date of birth
5th September, 1946
Date of death
24th November, 1991