First look at Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury in Bryan Singer-directed biopic

The long anticipated and stalled Queen film is on track for a Christmas-time release, with X-Men director Bryan Singer at the helm, and Rami Malek playing Freddie Mercury.

Related: 20-plus rare photos reveal a hidden side of Freddie Mercury that his fans never saw

Singer announced that Malek, who won an Emmy for his role in USA’s Mr. Robot, would star in the film via Instagram last year:

Now Entertainment Weekly has released the first image of Malek as the legendary Mercury, and if we’re going on looks along, this is pretty air-tight:

But Malek’s, and the film’s, success will be measured on far more than overall aesthetic.

Related: A Freddie Mercury biopic that doesn’t mention AIDS? Really?

Sacha Baron Cohen had been attached to play Mercury, but left the project, saying the surviving members of Queen were not interested in his desire to do a “warts and all” depiction of the singer’s life, including the “debauchery.”

The script comes from Anthony McCarten, the author of the Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything. Queen guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor will serve as music producers.

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