Freddie Mercury Biopic Lands ‘Theory of Everything’ Writer, Still Eyeing Ben Whishaw
We haven’t heard much about the Freddie Mercury biopic since Sacha Baron Cohen dropped out of the project over disputes with the remaining Queen band members. Queen Films and producer Graham King are still trying to get the film off the ground, and have hired The Theory of Everything writer Anthony McCarten to draft a new version of the screenplay, while Ben Whishaw is reportedly (still) the current top choice to play Mercury.
Deadline reports that McCarten has been brought in to write a new draft of the Freddie Mercury biopic, taking over for previous screenwriter Peter Morgan. GK Films is rumored to be considering Bohemian Rhapsody as the title, invoking the name of one of Queen’s biggest hit songs — though that seems a bit too on-the-nose.
The report also suggests that Ben Whishaw is the current favorite to play the late, iconic Queen frontman, a role which Sacha Baron Cohen had been previously attached to for many years. Cohen dropped out a couple of years ago amid disagreements with the remaining band members over the creative direction and content of the biopic.
This isn’t the first time Whishaw’s name has been mentioned in relation to the project — back in 2013 it was revealed that the Spectre star was the band’s top choice to play Mercury in the long-gestating biopic. In addition to the James Bond franchise, Whishaw is enjoying a great run this fall with roles in Suffragette, The Danish Girl and In the Heart of the Sea, as well as film festival favorite The Lobster. He’s definitely only grown more popular in the last couple of years, which might make it a teensy bit more difficult to snag him for the role of Mercury.