American actor Rami Malek has become the latest star to sign up to portray Freddie Mercury in the much-disrupted Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.

The 35 year old star, who won an Emmy for his role as the troubled hacker Elliot Alderson in ‘Mr. Robot’, is to play the late rock icon in a biopic movie that’s set to be directed by X-Men’s Bryan Singer, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Singer himself confirmed the news of his and Malek’s involvement via his own Instagram account on Friday night (November 4th), sharing a photo of the four Queen members’ faces as they appear in the ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ video.

Rami MalekEmmy-winner Rami Malek is set to portray Freddie Mercury

Bohemian Rhapsody has been in the production pipeline for eight years already, with Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor attached to the project as music producers and consultants. Sacha Baron Cohen had for a long time thought to be nailed down to play Mercury, but he walked away earlier this year citing disagreements with producers.

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Speaking to American radio host Howard Stern back in March, Baron Cohen explained his departure. “A member of the band – I won’t say who – said: ‘You know, this is such a great movie because it’s got such an amazing thing that happens in the middle.’

“And I go: ‘What happens in the middle of the movie?’ He goes: ‘You know, Freddie dies.’ ... I go: ‘What happens in the second half of the movie?’ He goes: ‘We see how the band carries on from strength to strength.’ I said: ‘Listen, not one person is going to see a movie where the lead character dies from Aids and then you see how the band carries on.’”

In response, drummer Taylor told the Mail on Sunday that Baron Cohen had been an “arse”. “We had some nice times with Sacha kicking around ideas… but he went off and told untruths about what happened.”

With a script penned by Anthony McCarten, who worked on The Theory of Everything, the beleaguered project is eventually set to start shooting early in 2017.

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