Ben Whishaw cast as Freddie Mercury, Dexter Fletcher directs

Posted Dec 11, 2013 by Mathew Wace Peck
Ben Whishaw has been cast as Freddie Mercury, the late frontman of rock band Queen, in a long-planned biopic that Dexter Fletcher will direct.
Ben Whishaw
Ben Whishaw
Back in October, it emerged that Whishaw was the preferred choice of the band to play Mercury. Now, according to Deadline, he has won the role.
For some time, Sacha Baron Cohen had been linked to the role, but he pulled out of the project in July this year.
Whishaw has already enjoyed a varied film and TV career. His many films include The Trench (1999), Layer Cake (2004), Perfume (2006), Brideshead Revisited (2008), The Tempest (2010) and Cloud Atlas (2012).
Television dramas have included Criminal Justice (2008), The Hour (2011–12) and The Hollow Crown: Richard II (2012), for which he won Best Male Actor Award at this year's BAFTAs.
(Q) ueen but not Who!
Last year, he took over the iconic role of Q for Skyfall, in Daniel Craig's most recent James Bond movie, and is expected to reprise it for the next.
Over the summer, Whishaw was also one of the actors tipped as a favourite to replace Matt Smith as the Doctor in the BBC's 50-year-old science-fiction drama series, Doctor Who. However, the 33-year-old said of the rumours that, while he wouldn't mind taking on the role, "I don't think you can be Q and Doctor Who."
In 2004, when he was just 24, Whishaw played the eponymous role in Trevor Nunn's Old Vic staging of the William Shakespeare play, Hamlet. Other stage work has included ...some trace of her (2008) at the National Theatre and Cock (2009) at the Royal Court Theatre. Recently, he has been appearing, with Colin Morgan, Rupert Grint, Daniel Mays and Brendan Coyle, in Ian Rickson's revival of Jez Butterworth's Olivier Award-winning comedy, Mojo, at the Harold Pinter Theatre.
Dexter Fletcher
Dexter Fletcher
Fletcher is well known as an actor, too, who made his directorial debut in 2012 with the BAFTA-nominated Wild Bill. He recently garnered acclaim for directing the musical Sunshine On Leith, a musical based on the Proclaimers songbook.
Deadline reveals, "Fletcher has been meeting the band and getting a feel for the Queen story [and] the intention is for the movie to get up and running next year."
In August, Whishaw celebrated his first wedding anniversary. He is married to the Australian composer Mark Bradshaw.