The photo is released today, September 5, on what would have been Mercury’s 71st birthday.
Openly bisexual director Bryan Singer (Usual Suspects, X-Men) will direct and Malek (Mr. Robot) will play Mercury in the film’s lead role. The film will be released next year on December 25, 2018 from Twentieth Century Fox/New Regency Productions.
“When you’re able to open your eyes and see a different person staring back at you in the mirror,” Malek says, recalling his first time in hair and makeup, “it’s a very affirming moment.”
Resembling the legendary musician, he says, “only adds to the level of confidence that one would need to play Freddie Mercury.”
Queen’s lead guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor will serve as the film’s executive music producers, which means the recreated songs and film score will probably rock you.
The vocals will be a combination of Mercury’s voice with Malek’s.
“We’re going to use Freddie as much as possible and use myself as much as possible,” Rami Malek says. “I’m in Abbey Road [Studios] right now if that should say anything to you. I’m not working on my acting.”
The film begins in 1970 , when Mercury teamed up with Brian May and Roger Taylor, until the band’s performance at Live Aid in 1985, six years before the singer died of complications from AIDS. The film will also likely cover Mercury’s coy relationship with his sexuality and the press. While he publicly admitted to some same-sex encounters during his younger years, he never came out in the press and reportedly distanced himself from his longtime partner Jim Hutton while in public.
“It won’t just be the dark Freddie story, but that being said, that also will be honored,” Singer says. “It’s about collaboration. It’s a celebration.”