Well, there’s a couple or three different stories like this in the media today. People are suddenly getting excited out there again about the Freddie Film. This…
Theory Of Everything’s Anthony McCarten Scripting Freddie Mercury Pic For GK Films; Ben Whishaw In The Wings?
18 November 2015
is one of the better ‘reports’ – but it still falls short of being an entirely accurate account. Some reports have Sony making decisions about writers, etc, but that’s not the case. Sony simply have an option to pick it up, or not, once we’ve all signed off (Roger, Jim Beach, Graham King and myself) on a script we believe in. Contrary to rumour, the project has never been ‘adrift’ – and Sacha Baron Cohen didn’t walk out due to artistic differences (even though his management put that story out). It was our decision. We simply realised that we wouldn’t get the believable portrayal of Freddie Mercury we needed from Sacha, so we, as considerately and diplomatically as we could, moved on. Sacha is a great comedy character creator, but we need someone who will actually ‘suspend disbelief’ so that we believe we are really watching Freddie on screen. More annoying to us was the rather mischievous impression given (and still believed by some) that we were shrinking from telling the truth, and ‘sanitising’ Freddie’s story in some way. In fact, the opposite is true. Anyone who knows us knows we have NEVER done anything by halves, and this will be no exception. The film will be devastatingly truthful, and will do Freddie justice as a human being, as well as channel his immense musical energy and the power of Queen in our Golden Days. We could never settle for anything less. It’s actually an incredible challenge to make this happen, and that’s why it’s not been quick. It will be worth the wait.
Our Producer Graham King is firmly at the helm of the ship, as he has been from the start, with incredible persistence and faith. As for casting, we are certainly hoping that Ben Whishaw will turn out to be the man to bring Freddie to life; I’ve (and Roger has) already spoken about Ben in interviews, so that’s no secret. But it remains to be seen whether the planets will align for that to happen. I’ve also recently talked in interviews about screenwriter, Anthony McCarten, who is now doing some fantastic work, collaborating closely with us. There are some radical new developments in ideas, and at this moment I’m more excited than I’ve ever been about the film’s potential. But the rest ? We’ll make an announcement when we’re ready. It may be soon.
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