68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - ShowThe long-gestating biopic about rock band Queen got a major boost this past weekend, with a new report suggesting that the flick has secured a high-profile pair to star and direct.

According to Deadline, "Mr. Robot" star Rami Malek is set to play frontman Freddie Mercury, and "X-Men" director Bryan Singer will helm the flick, titled "Bohemian Rhapsody." The project recently moved from studio Sony to 20th Century Fox and New Regency, and Deadline reports that it's "on the fast track," with producers hoping to start filming sometime in early 2017.

Malek and Singer's involvement is a big step forward for the project, which has been in development for eight years with various stars and directors attached at one time or another. The biggest name associated with the project in recent years was Sacha Baron Cohen, who was to play Mercury until clashes with surviving Queen bandmates Brian May and Roger Taylor over the story prompted him to exit the production. Ben Whishaw was the latest actor linked to the Mercury role, but he, too, left over creative differences.

May and Taylor are still on board the project under the new Malek-Singer team, and will serve as music producers on the flick. Writer Anthony McCarten ("The Theory of Everything") will pen the screenplay.

Deadline notes that the creative team behind the film, which includes producer Graham King and his GK Films banner, as well as the Fox-New Regency partnership, has a history of Oscar success (King took home a trophy for producing "The Departed," while Fox and New Regency cleaned up with high-profile wins for "12 Years a Slave," "Birdman," and The Revenant"), and the Queen flick could be courting similar awards attention. Malek already has an Emmy under his belt thanks to his buzzy "Mr. Robot" performance; could an Oscar be next?

First we'll have to see if this long-troubled project can actually get off the ground. Stay tuned.

[via: Deadline]

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