British actor-turned-director Dexter Fletcher is set to direct the upcoming Queen biopic for GK Films. Deadline has also reported that Ben Whishaw (Perfume, Cloud Atlas) has been confirmed to star as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.
The screenplay, written by Peter Morgan (The Queen, Rush), tells the story of Queen’s rise to the top, culminating in Queen headlining Live Aid in 1985. While Mercury died of AIDS back in 1991, the film won’t focus on the singer’s final days.
GK Films’ Graham King has been trying to get this film off the ground for years. Earlier this year Sacha Baron Cohen was attached to play Mercury, but dropped out due to creative difference with Mercury’s Queen band members. The remaining band members expressed their interest in having Ben Whishaw play the key role, leading to Whishaw’s successful screen-test last month.
Director Dexter Fletcher has directed two feature films so far: the BAFTA-nominated Wild Bill and this year’s Sunshine on Leith, a musical based on the Proclaimers songbook.
The rights package to the film includes a number of Queen’s tracks. Among the tunes are “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions,” “Another One Bites The Dust” and “You’re My Best Friend.”
For those interested, we’ve included Queen’s 1985 Live Aid set below: