Ben Whishaw to play Freddie Mercury in biopic

The long awaited announcement of who will star as Freddie Mercury in the upcoming biopic has been announced and the great news for fans of the band is that Ben Whishaw was Queen’s first choice for the role.

Having played Q in the Bond movie Skyfall, Whishaw is starting to make a name for himself in major movies. Landing the leading role in the movie that tells the story of the formation of the rock group in a “coming-of-age story” that culminates in “Queen headlining Live Aid in 1985” must be a dream come true for the 33-year old actor. He takes over from Sacha Baron Cohen who vacated the role recently. The Borat star has been tight-lipped about his departure, but Brian May confirmed that “In the end, we felt that his presence in the movie would be very distracting.”

May went onto to explain that “You have to really suspend that disbelief – the man who plays Freddie, you have to really believe is Freddie. And we didn’t that could really happen with Sacha.” By contrast Whishaw couldn’t be more unassuming if he tried. The Cloud Atlas star’s portrayal of Rolling Stone guitarist Keith Richards in the 2005 film Stoned may have helped him get the role, but it’s his ability to become the character that’s got the surviving members of Queen excited about the biopic which Sunshine on Leith's director Dexter Fletcher will helm.

Fletcher’s use of the Proclaimers songs in Sunshine on Leith’s soundtrack probably helped him get the job from a team of heavyweight producers including Jane Rosenthal, Graham King and Robert De Niro. This is a “passion” project for producer King and for the former bandmates so they’re going to make sure they get it right before cameras roll in 2014 for an expected release in 2015.

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