With his unique voice and amazing personality, Freddie Mercury became one of the best rock legends of all time. But how much of his life will appear in the upcoming film?
There are few bands in history that have created as many iconic songs and anthems as Queen. You might not be their biggest fan, but you’ve sung and danced to at least one of their classics, or you might also be one of those die-hard fans who can do all the different voices in “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Either way, I bet that the vast majority of us are waiting anxiously to watch the upcoming film of the same name. Bohemian Rhapsody was announced several years ago, making it one of the most anticipated films related to music of the last decade. With several changes throughout the years (like changes in the cast), finally, in 2016, it was announced that the Mr. Robot star, Rami Malek, was going to play Freddy Mercury, and since then we’ve just been waiting for new details to be released.
Though a lot has been kept secret, so far we know a couple of details about the movie that only add to our anticipation. For instance, we know for sure that this isn’t going to be Freddie Mercury’s biopic, but rather the story of how the band was created and their development throughout the years. In the same way, we know it will start in the late sixties, when Mercury met Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon (the first two listed as producers in the movie) and will end with their presentation at the Live Aid concert in 1985, although many sources claim that it will include Mercury’s tragic passing in 1991. So, even though we know it’s not a Freddie Mercury biopic, there are aspects moments of his life that we’d all love to see in the film.
Freddie Mercury’s voice
One of the things that people always bring up whenever a musician is being portrayed onscreen is whether the actor that will be playing them will use playback or whether they’ll actually perform the songs. Obviously, no one will ever match Freddie Mercury’s unique voice and range – that’s a fact (sorry Rami Malek). However, it’s also true that just playing his music wouldn’t feel real in the film, since we’re all hoping for the movie to make us feel like we’re watching him. So, what we know already, from an interview on Entertainment Weekly, is that they were using original recordings from Freddie, a voice impersonator, and Malek’s own voice to merge them and make it sound as if he was singing it directly. Let’s just hope it works!
His relationship with David Bowie
Although both of them are probably doing epic stuff somewhere else, how amazing would it be to see Bowie in the film (I mean played by an actor of course). The thing is that although many believe these legends met in the late seventies and then recorded their hit “Under Pressure,” the truth is that they go back some years before that. Actually, Freddie wasn’t close to achieving the fame he got when he met his idol in a small performance he gave at Ealing Art College. Excited and eager to meet him, he offered to help him set the state which he did. Years later, when Queen was getting started, Freddie and Roger Taylor decided to open a small stall at Kensington Market where they sold vintage clothes. One day, a common acquaintance took Bowie to the market to find some clothes for his performance, since, although he had already released the hit “Space Oddity,” he didn’t have that much money. He wanted some vintage boots that they had on the stall, but said he didn’t have enough money to buy them. However, Freddie recognized him and gave Bowie the boots for free.
The heartfelt story between Freddie Mercury and his long-term partner Mary Austin
The movie obviously has to include an emotional love story to move the audience and show the fans the more human side of their icons. And of course, Freddie Mercury can offer a truly emotional and intense love story. In the band’s early days, Mary Austin was dating Brian May, but their relationship didn’t last long, and they ended it on amicable terms. It was then that Freddie decided to ask her on a date. They were together for many years, and she is considered to be his lifelong muse. Even after they broke up they remained close friends, and during the last years of his life, after he confessed to her that he had AIDS, she stayed with him and took care of his health. He was so grateful to her that he ended up leaving her almost everything he acquired over the years. She’s allegedly the only person who knows where his remains rest, since he didn’t want people knowing the location. Moreover, with the money he left her, she started a foundation in his name that helps people with AIDS throughout the world.
The crazy night he had with Lady Diana
Finally, I know this isn’t that relevant or particularly crucial for the story of the band, but wouldn’t it be so cool if they included that time when Freddie Mercury convinced Lady Diana to dress in drag and attend a gay club? I mean, Diana was known to be a rebellious soul who wouldn’t let the norms of the monarchy rule entirely her life, but this is beyond rebellious: this says a lot about a woman who did whatever she wanted and thus gained the love and respect of her people. As the story goes, Mercury and Diana attended the party of a mutual friend, and after drinking some champagne, she asked him what his plans for the night were, so he invited her to the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, an important gay club in London, and she mischievously accepted. Actually, it’s said that Diana was very fond of Mercury, and after his death (plus many of her friends’ who died of AIDS) she decided to become the patron of the National AIDS Trust.
Freddie Mercury was in many ways more famous than his bandmates, so it’s great that the film’s producers decided to turn it into the history of a band that was, is, and will always be iconic. I believe that this keeps it from becoming one of those lame “dark” biopics, and instead it will be a nice and respectful homage to a band, and more importantly, a man who shattered a lot of prejudices and stereotypes.
The movie will be released in the US on November 2nd, but in the meantime, you can watch this video about Freddie Mercury’s last days:
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