The Making of Bohemian Rhapsody

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The Making of Bohemian Rhapsody

Mia Pandza, Staff reporter

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USA Today

Bohemian Rhapsody has made headlines this awards season. The Freddie Mercury biopic has won four Oscars, two  BAFTAs, and two Golden Globes. A lot of hard work was put into it, as the film took nearly ten years to complete. Conflicts with actors and directors caused several setbacks. Rami Malek was ultimately chosen to portray Freddie Mercury, and Bryan Singer was chosen to direct. During shooting, Singer was fired due to controversies and butting heads with those on set; Dexter Fletcher later took his position. Initial producers and actors had disagreements with Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor, who worked closely with the film. May and Taylor wanted a family-friendly film, while actor Sacha Baron Cohen and producer Peter Morgan wanted an in-depth film on Mercury’s life. This caused the departure of Baron Cohen and Morgan. The band also wanted it to be extremely accurate while keeping it PG-13, but that proved difficult. On top of that, producer Graham King had to remind them,“We’re making a movie, not a documentary.”

The first scene shot was the Live Aid concert. Lead actors Rami Malek (Mercury), Gwilym Lee (May), Joe Mazzello (Deacon), and Ben Hardy (Taylor) were very against this because it was such a daunting task to perform right away. Although Queen never broke up in real life, they did in the movie. This concert was to bring the band back together and show audiences that they had something special. Once the actors had come to terms with King not changing the schedule, they embraced it and decided it was beneficial to bond as a cast and get a feel of their characters. The set design crew created a replica of the stage and used CGI to create the crowd.

Although Queen wanted an accurate film, most of it was totally out of order, with parts being made up for dramatic effect. Some of their most popular songs were seen written by the wrong person and released in the wrong year. The actual band was okay with members creating solo works. In Bohemian Rhapsody, Mercury’s solo career caused the band to break up. Also, in the film, Freddie learned about his AIDS diagnosis right before the Live Aid concert when he really learned about it around 1986, well after the concert.

While the creation of Bohemian Rhapsody had its ups and downs, a memorable celebration of rock legend Freddie Mercury came out of it.

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