Alex Bailey TM & © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
For eight years, Queen guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor tried to bring the story of their famous band and its beloved late frontman, Freddie Mercury, to the silver screen…and in 2018, things finally came together.
Early on, Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen was set to play Mercury, while a few different directors were attached to the project at various times. Eventually Mr. Robot‘s Rami Malek took on the lead role in the film, which follows Queen’s rise to fame up until its historic 1985 performance at the Live Aid festival.
Released November 2, Bohemian Rhapsody was an immediate smash, topping the box office in the U.S. — where it scored a $50 million debut week — as well as in the U.K. and at least 10 other countries. On December 1, with $161 million earned domestically, the movie officially became the most successful music biopic ever in the States, surpassing 2015’s Straight Outta Compton, about gangster-rap pioneers N.W.A.
In a promotional video for the film, Brian May said of Malek’s performance, “I love the way that Rami has captured not only Freddie’s great power and ebullience, but also the sensitive side…the vulnerability of Freddie.”
Malek’s portrayal earned him Best Leading Actor nominations at the upcoming Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards. Bohemian Rhapsody also will compete for the Best Motion Picture — Drama honor at the Golden Globes and the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture prize at the SAG Awards.
The Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200 and spent five weeks in the top 10. It features the classic versions of Queen hits, updated renditions of some songs, and rare or previously unreleased concert performances — including five songs that Queen played at Live Aid, which had never been officially released in audio form.
Following a limited Las Vegas residency called The Crown Jewels, in December, Queen’s current lineup, including singer Adam Lambert, announced plans for a 2019 trek dubbed the Rhapsody tour. The North American leg kicks off July 10 in Vancouver, Canada.
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