Bohemian Rhapsody has now made enough money to build Scrooge McDuck a few swimming pools full of gold coins and swept the major categories at the Golden Globes, netting a Best Actor award for Rami Malek and Best Drama, but as it turns out, that’s not enough. The people love Bohemian Rhapsody and the music of Queen and we must give the people what they want. Apparently, what the people want is to spit popcorn onto each other as they belt out “We Are the Champions” in a movie theater, because Bohemian Rhapsody is getting the sing-along treatment.
Wednesday, Fox and New Regency announced that they’ll release a karaoke version of the box office juggernaut in 750 theaters across the US and Canada starting this Friday, January 11. Mamma Mia is shaking! (Actually, she’s doing just fine.)
“We are delighted to give audiences the opportunity to see this outstanding Golden Globe-winning film … in a never-before-experienced ‘sing-along’ version,” said Fox’s domestic distribution president Chris Aronson, who weirdly had dollar signs where his pupils should have been. Huh.
Despite its massive success, critics (especially queer ones) have questioned Bohemian Rhapsody’s portrayal of Mercury, especially the way it toned down his sexuality and treated it as a problem to work through, glorifying his romance with Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton) while keeping his relationship with Jim Hutton (Aaron McCusker) mostly off-screen. Queen member Brian May, who served as an executive music producer on the film, chastised critics who thought the film’s portrayal of Mercury was too tame and erasive.
“It shows everything. Nobody thinks Freddie’s perfect, but he sure was unusual,” he told Louder Sound. “You see it all. Not in a gratuitous way … All that stuff is in there, but you don’t need to be revelling in scenes of debauchery – not that Freddie was particularly debauched anyway. I know some people were looking for that, but no, it’s a film which portrays the truth, in a fairly gritty and honest but also entertaining way.”
"I think what a lot of people think about Freddie, and the media go, ‘Oh he was flamboyant, whatever,’ and they remember him for other things and they forget he was a brilliant musician. I think the film does pay attention to the fact that Freddie was a great, great musician."
And now audiences will be able to sing-along with him in between scenes of him being slightly bisexual! If the "debauchery" May is talking about is a euphemism for Freddie Mercury being a big, gay slut, then boy would we have preferred that version to a sing-along. Fingers crossed for the deleted scenes!