It was beginning to seem as though a Queen biopic would never come to pass. Sacha Baron Cohen (who, let’s be honest, would be perfect) was attached to the project at one time, but creative differences with the surviving band members ultimately forced him to drop out. But after years of will they or won’t they development hell, Bohemian Rhapsody is finally in production with Mr. Robot star Rami Malek portraying rock icon Freddie Mercury — and there’s actual photographic evidence to prove it.

Entertainment Weekly debuted the first official photo of Malek as Mercury, and he definitely
looks the part:

But does he sound the part? Somewhat. The film, which is being directed by Bryan Singer (because sure, why not), will combine Malek’s vocals with recordings of Mercury. The actor tells EW:

We’re going to use Freddie as much as possible and use myself as much as possible. I’m in Abbey Road [Studios] right now if that should say anything to you. I’m not working on my acting.

Bohemian Rhapsody follows Queen from 1970, when Mercury formed the band with Brian May and Roger Taylor, to 1985, when they performed at Live Aid. Mercury died in 1991 after a long battle with AIDS — something that will not be explored in the film. It’s a potentially controversial decision, and it’s said to have been the sticking point between Sacha Baron Cohen and the band’s surviving members, who did not want to portray the darker time in Mercury’s life.

Perhaps in keeping with that spirit, the film is hitting theaters on December 25, 2018.

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