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Top 10 Facts About Bohemian Rhapsody

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake

Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see. For this list, we’re taking a look at interesting trivia relating to this 2018 biopic. Join WatchMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Facts About Bohemian Rhapsody.

Check out the voting page for this list and add your picks: https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Facts+About+Bohemian+Rhapsody. Special thanks to our user liam_schell for suggesting this idea!


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Top 10 Facts About Bohemian Rhapsody

Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Facts About Bohemian Rhapsody.

For this list, we’re taking a look at interesting trivia relating to this 2018 biopic.

#10: It Took Almost 10 Years to Come to the Screen

“Bohemian Rhapsody” had a long, complicated journey to the silver screen, enduring numerous setbacks. Before we delve deeper into some of the more notable production problems, let’s go back to the film’s roots. Queen guitarist Brian May initially announced the biopic during a 2010 interview with BBC. In the following years, the filmmakers clashed regarding the movie’s tone and representation of Freddie Mercury, with several major players exiting over time. There was also some debate concerning who should direct the film with names like Peter Morgan, David Fincher, and Tom Hooper being tossed around. Bryan Singer ultimately landed the directing gig in 2016, although production would soon come under even greater pressure.

#9: Sarah Baron Cohen Was Originally Cast as Freddie Mercury

When it was announced in 2011 that Sacha Baron Cohen would be playing Freddie Mercury, the casting was met with high praise from Brian May, who described the actor as a “perfect” choice. Cohen would step down from the role two years later, however, as he reportedly wished to make a hard-R movie about Mercury while the band wanted to keep things more PG. Ben Whishaw and Daniel Radcliffe were both rumored as possible replacements for Cohen until Emmy-winner Rami Malek was finally cast in 2016. May later stated that Cohen’s presence in the film might’ve been “distracting” considering his comedic roles and reputation as a prankster. Ah well, easy come, easy go.

#8: The Behind the Scenes Talent

“Bohemian Rhapsody” reassembles Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor, and Queen manager Jim Beach to all serve as producers. The producing team is also comprised of Hollywood A-listers like Robert De Niro, who needs no introduction, and Graham King, who took home an Academy Award for the Best Picture-winning film, “The Departed.” Speaking of the Academy, the script was crafted by Anthony McCarten, who has multiple Oscar nominations under his belt for “The Theory of Everything” and “Darkest Hour.” With a lineup like this, it’s not surprising that “Bohemian Rhapsody” has already been pegged as a potential awards season contender in various categories.

#7: The Supporting Cast

Although much of the buzz surrounding the film is tied to Rami Malek’s performance as Mercury, he’s not the only actor likely to rock you. Rounding out the band is Gwilym Lee of “The Tourist” as Brian May, Ben Hardy of “X-Men: Apocalypse” as Roger Taylor, and Joseph Mazzello from “Jurassic Park” all grown up as John Deacon. Lucy Boynton, who you’ll recognize from “Sing Street,” returns to the ‘80s music scene as Mary Austin, Mercury’s partner of several years. Allen Leech, Aidan Gillen, and Tom Hollander are also onboard as Queen’s various managers. The cast even includes Mike Myers as EMI executive Ray Foster, bringing things full circle over 25 years after “Wayne’s World.”

#6: Backlash Over the Portrayal of Mercury’s Sexuality

With films like “Love, Simon,” “Call Me by Your Name,” and “Moonlight,” it could be argued that Hollywood has come a long way in its representation of the LGBT community. Some of the controversy surrounding “Bohemian Rhapsody” may suggest otherwise, though. Bryan Fuller and various others have complained that the film’s trailer largely ignored the gay/bi links to Mercury’s sexuality, putting more emphasis on his relationship with Mary Austin. The synopsis, meanwhile, appeared to tiptoe around the fact that Mercury died due to complications with AIDS. While the official trailer does briefly show Mercury getting close with another man, there’s still skepticism that the film will succumb to “heterosexual-washing.” Only time will tell.

#5: Live Aid

You can’t make a biopic about Queen without the band’s show-stopping performance at the 1985 benefit concert of Live Aid. Dominating the stage for just over 20 minutes, Queen kicked things off with “Bohemian Rhapsody” and closed out with “We Are the Champions.” In 2005, 60 artists, journalists, and music industry executives voted Queen’s Live Aid appearance as the single greatest live performance in all of rock. To do this iconic performance justice, an exact replica of the Live Aid stage was built and transported to Bovingdon Airfield for the film. This set piece is expected to serve as the movie’s climax, which is fitting since it’s remembered as being the height of Queen’s superstardom.

#4: The Singing

Rami Malek certainly shares a physical resemblance to Freddie Mercury and there’s little doubt that he has the charisma to pull the role off. In order for Malek to fully become Mercury, though, the filmmakers took several measures in capturing the late artist’s singing voice. The movie not only features Malek’s own voice, but also recordings of Mercury and a sound alike. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Malek stated, “We’re going to use Freddie as much as possible and use myself as much as possible.” At the time, Malek was reportedly at Abbey Road Studios in London, where a number of famous artists have recorded over the years - including Queen.

#3: Bryan Singer Left During Production

As mentioned before, the film’s production was plagued with problems, many of which were linked to director Bryan Singer. About three months after principal photography began, it was reported that Singer had “unexpected unavailability.” Singer allegedly didn’t return to the set following the Thanksgiving break. While some sources attributed Singer’s absence to a personal health matter, others claim that the director had developed a difficult dynamic with Rami Malek and various crew members. Whatever the reason, Singer was fired from the project on December 4, 2017 with roughly two weeks of principal photography left. Since the show must go on, Dexter Fletcher was brought on as Singer’s replacement within the next couple days.

#2: Dexter Fletcher Went Uncredited

Dexter Fletcher was actually hired to direct “Bohemian Rhapsody” long before Singer came aboard, although he left the project in 2014 due to disagreements with Graham King. When Singer dropped out, however, Fletcher returned to save the struggling picture. According to Fletcher, about two-thirds of principal photography had been finished when he signed up to complete the film. Although Brian May praised Fletcher on Instagram for getting the movie back on track, it was announced in June 2018 that Singer would retain the sole directing credit due to the rules set by the Directors Guild of America. When asked about who would receive the credit a month earlier, Fletcher reportedly said, “it doesn’t matter.”

#1: It’s More of a Queen Biopic than a Freddie Mercury Biopic

Since Rami Malek takes center stage on the film’s posters, one would assume that “Bohemian Rhapsody” is all about Queen’s lead vocalist. While Malek is being promoted as a lead actor, the film reportedly won’t be a “traditional biopic” about Freddie Mercury. Rather, it’s a Queen biopic that explores the band’s early struggles, ascension to fame, and the tragedy that befell them, celebrating their music every step of the way. In other words, we can expect a film about the highs and lows. Before leaving production, Bryan Singer stated, “It won’t just be the dark Freddie story, but that being said, that also will be honored.” He additionally said, “It’s about collaboration. It’s a celebration.”


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