The second trailer for Bohemian Rhapsody goes further than its predecessor in exploring Queen's rise to fame, but once again it's lead singer Freddie Mercury who dominates the spotlight. Mr. Robot's Rami Malek transforms himself into the beloved entertainer in the film, with Gwilym Lee (Jamestown) stepping in to play Queen's lead guitarist Brian May, EastEnders' Ben Hardy portraying drummer Roger Taylor, Joseph Mazzello (The Pacific) costarring as base guitarist John Deacon, and Littlefinger himself, Aiden Gillen, portraying the band's first manager, John Reid.
Written by Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything, Darkest Hour), and finished by Dexter Fletcher (Eddie the Eagle) after director Bryan Singer was fired late during production, Bohemian Rhapsody charts Queen's journey from their formation in London circa 1970 to their iconic Live Aid performance in 1985. In fact, the Live Aid show (which was held in Wembley) serves as the centerpiece of the film, with the rest of the narrative woven around that key event in Queen history. The official trailer for the movie, which is embedded in the space above, calls more attention to that than the Bohemian Rhapsody teaser trailer (released back in May) does.
At the same time, the Bohemian Rhapsody trailer (like the teaser) highlights the vibrant cinematography by Newton Thomas Sigel and doubles as a video showcase for Malek's transformative performance as Mr. Mercury. 20th Century Fox is almost certainly planning to push for Malek to receive an Oscar nod for his work in the film, going off the marketing alone. After all, there is a tradition in Hollywood of actors being nominated for and winning Academy Awards for playing real-life singers/musicians (see Jamie Foxx in Ray, Reese Witherspoon in Walk the Line, and so on).
Bohemian Rhapsody had a noticeably difficult time landing a green-light and things weren't all that better during production either, based on the accounts of Singer's on-set behavior before he was fired. The film's marketing has since been criticized for "straight-washing" Mercury's sexuality and under-playing the fact that he eventually contracted HIV and developed AIDS. While both of these topics are addressed more explicitly in the new Bohemian Rhapsody trailer, it has also been reported that the movie doesn't explore the final years of Mercury's life after the Live Aid concert. That creative decision may prove to be equally controversial, once Fox begins screening the biopic for critics.
Even so, Bohemian Rhapsody has a lot going for it with respect to the talent involved, and its trailers have served to further demonstrate that point. Here's to hoping these pre-release concerns prove to be unfounded and the actual film ends up being something as revolutionary and convention-defying as the real Freddie Mercury and his bandmates were.
Source: 20th Century Fox
- Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) release date: Nov 02, 2018