The Once and Future Queen?
By Jerry Portwood
We've been teased with Daniel Radcliffe, then Dominic Cooper, now could it be that openly gay actor (and James Bond's Q) Ben Whishaw may finally be the Freddie Mercury we've been waiting for all along?
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Queen's drummer, Roger Taylor revealed that Whishaw is the front-runner after "being gently probed on the One Show, which airs on the BBC's flagship channel BBC One in the early evening."
Taylor said in the November issue of Mojo that progress was "painstakingly sluggish," noting that he had thought the music industry moved slowly but it was nothing compared to the film business. Written by Peter Morgan (The Queen), the biopic is being mounted by producers Graham King, Tim Headington, Robert De Niro, and Jane Rosenthal alongside Queen Films.
Queen guitarist Brian May talked about why Sacha Baron Cohen was no longer part of the project: "We [the band] felt that his presence in the movie would be very distracting," referencing the star's "outstanding performances in The Dictator, Les Miserables and Hugo as being "very much Sacha Baron Cohen performances." May continued: "And we thought there has to be no distraction in the Freddie movie. You have to really suspend that disbelief. The man who plays Freddie—you have to really believe is Freddie. And we didn't feel that could really happen with Sacha."
Whishaw, who recently confirmed his civil partnership, is not only a potential dead ringer for Freddie Mercury, but he's also an amazingly talented actor who has taken on challenging roles and always impressed. Please, no more teases: Can we just settle this once and for all?