Elton John and Queen movies

Rami Malik as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. Picture from Twentieth Century Fox.

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BY BILLY SUTER

FANS of iconic British music acts that first hit it big in the 1970s are in for two treats on the big screen soon – the eagerly anticipated Queen and Freddie Mercury biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, and Rocketman, a film chronicling the early years of Elton John.

Directed by Bryan Singer, Bohemian Rhapsody will star 37-year-old American Rami Malek, who is of Egyptian descent, as Mercury. Malek won an Emmy for his lead role in a drama series, for his performance as Elliot Alderson in Mr Robot.

The new film, principal photography for which started in September 2017, will reportedly follow the early days of rock band Queen, focusing on Mercury and leading up to the group’s 1985 Live Aid performance at Wembley Stadium. Bohemian Rhapsody will also feature Gwilym Lee (as Brian May), Ben Hardy (as Roger Taylor), Joseph Mazzello (as John Deacon), Lucy Boynton, Aiden Gillen, Tom Hollander and Mike Meyers.

It is scheduled for a UK released on October 24, followed by a US release on November 2.

Taron Egerton takes flight as Elton John in Rocketman, from Paramount Pictures

Rocketman, which Elton John himself developed, initially releasing details in 2012, when it was announced Justin Timberlake was the first choice to play the piano-playing extrovert, is now scheduled for global release on May 31, 2019.

By 2013, reports Wikipedia, Michael Gracey was down to direct, with Tom Hardy cast as John, but no further news came until July last year, when it was announced Hardy was no longer involved with the project.

Playing Elton in the movie, which has been labelled more of a fantasy-musical than a straightforward biopic, will be 28-year-old Welsh actor Taron Egerton, who will do his own singing in the movie under the direction of Dexter Fletcher, who has replaced Gracey.

The movie, filming of which started last month, will also feature Billy Elliot star Jamie Bell as Elton’s lyricist Bernie Taupin, while Bryce Dallas Howard has signed up to play Elton’s mother.

Egerton appeared in the 2014 film, Kingsman: The Sercret Service, and its 2017 sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle. He might also be remembered for providing the voice of Johnny in the animated musical film, Sing.


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