Hollywood director is a long-standing LGBT advocate
When Egyptian-American actor Rami Malek was confirmed as the lead in the upcoming biopic of Queens late lead singer, Freddie Mercury, fans breathed a sigh of relief. The movie had been stuck in pre-production for more than a year; it seems its director, Bryan Singer, was looking for the right man to play Freddie.
The Mr Robot star successfully auditioned in the world-famous Abbey Road Studios in London, where Queen as well as The Beatles recorded their albums. Malek told Stephen Colbert on his talkshow that he felt Freddies presence during the audition.
For Bryan Singer, getting this biopic right is a mammoth task: not only was he a huge fan of Freddie Mercury, the legendary frontman who died of AIDS-related illnesses in 1991, he also has the blessing of his remaining Queen band members, who announced Maleks casting on their bands website.
Perhaps most importantly for Singer is his opportunity to shine a light on an exceptional member of the LGBT community, for which he has fought throughout his career.
The producer and director, who identifies as bisexual, has advocated marriage equality in the US for years. Singer used his private funds, but never his celebrity status, to fight against discrimination, but even so, the conservative right quickly went to war with the Hollywood veteran.
The 51-year-old was subjected to a witch hunt and, in 2014, even accused of sexually molesting aspiring, then under-aged Michael Egan first at one of his parties in Los Angeles, and later on an estate in Hawaii. The charges were proven false, and Egan was eventually sent to federal prison for an unrelated crime (securities fraud) .
For Singer to turn Freddie Mercurys life into an inspiring story for LGBTs everywhere is a huge opportunity. An Oscar would be an icing on the cake.
It wouldnt be the first time Singer flies the rainbow flag on the silver screen: as the director of the movie franchise X-Men, based on the Marvel comic books, he saw a clear sub text in the comic characters and his own experience.
In 2016, he told Entertainment Weekly: A person of a certain religion or race is born into a community of similar faiths or physical attributes. But an LGBT person is born into a worldto use the example that X-Men useslike a mutant. And of course the parents arent mutants, the brothers and sisters might not be mutants. And they feel a unique kind of aloneness.
Neither Freddie nor the X-Men were liked by the conservative right, let alone the alt-right. Singers courage to celebrate those who dare to be different has never been more important. As the production of the biopic under the current title Bohemian Rhapsody goes ahead, Queen fans can rest assured that their idol is in good hands.