By now, you know Queen’s songs by just a few notes—the “Mamma mia” that echoes in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the thumping bass of “Another One Bites the Dust,” the stomping of “We Will Rock You”—so it makes sense that the first trailer of the Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, leans on all of the rock icons’ familiar beats. But the real X factor is the transformation of Rami Malek into the band’s creative force and frontman, Freddie Mercury.
Malek, best known for his Emmy-winning turn in USA’s paranoid hacker drama Mr. Robot and for being one of the internet’s self-proclaimed boyfriends, looks absolutely stunning in the first footage of Bohemian Rhapsody, veering between Mercury’s iconic looks—the ’stache, the flowing mop top—with aplomb.
Breaking: I’m hearing reports that Tumblr has imploded.
As enticing as the still of Malek as Mercury that dropped in September 2017 was, the trailer transcends it easily. Bohemian Rhapsody as a whole looks spectacular, as it charts Queen’s journey through the creation of their greatest hits, climaxing with their legendary set at Live Aid in 1985. The visuals look crisp, the story looks like a classic rock ’n’ roll biopic (in a good way), and Malek looks electric.
That everything seems to have come together is a small sigh of relief after a tumultuous end of production saw director Bryan Singer fired for troublesome on-set behavior, which reportedly included confrontations with Malek. (Eddie the Eagle director Dexter Fletcher took over for the rest of production.) Production turmoil doesn’t always equate to a bad movie—the early buzz surrounding the similarly troubled Solo: A Star Wars Story is optimistic—and the fact that 20th Century Fox is holding a November 2 release date for Bohemian Rhapsody, right at the peak of awards season, means the studio’s expectations are high. With any luck, Malek will add an Oscar nomination to his increasingly impressive résumé, which could make him internet husband material in short order.