Bohemian Rhapsody star Rami Malek will play the lead in American Radical, an FBI thriller to be directed by Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail. Malek has himself spent three seasons on Mr. Robot, playing the computer hacker Elliot Alderson. USA Network has renewed the acclaimed show for a fourth go-around, with Malek set to return for Mr. Robot season 4.
Having made a splash on Mr. Robot, playing an anarchist hacker with multiple personalities, Malek is now poised to become a genuine movie star. There's already huge buzz about his performance as legendary rock star Freddie Mercury in the upcoming biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. Malek is also set to star alongside Charlie Hunnam in a remake of the 1973 Steve McQueen-Dustin Hoffman prison break drama Papillon.
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As reported by Variety, Malek's next big screen effort will see him reunite with Esmail for American Radical. Universal is developing the project based on the memoir of former FBI agent Tamer Elnoury, who joined the bureau's counter-terrorism unit after 9/11 and used his undercover skills to infiltrate a terror cell in the United States. Malek will produce together with Esmail and Chad Hamilton of Esmail Corp., with Esmail himself taking on directorial duties.
In addition to Mr. Robot, Esmail also directed the feature film Comet starring Justin Long and Emmy Rossum. Later this year, Amazon will premiere the director's new series Homecoming, a psychological thriller based on the fictional podcast of the same name from writers Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg. The series starring Julia Roberts, Stephan James and Bobby Cannavale has already received a two-season order from Amazon. Esmail has also reportedly lined up a TV miniseries adaptation of German director Fritz Lang's classic sci-fi film Metropolis, as well as an untitled Bermuda Triangle project.
With American Radical, Esmail continues to build his eclectic resume of TV and feature film projects. Mr. Robot is itself filled with lots of intrigue, but now Esmail will flip the script and focus on a lead character who appears to have pure and patriotic motives (and presumably does not have a second personality living inside his head, causing him to do terrible things). American Radical also sounds like another intriguing project for Malek, whose career looks poised to really blow up once the Freddie Mercury movie hits screens. In addition to that, Malek also has a role upcoming in The Voyage of Dr. Dolittle, which stars Robert Downey Jr. as the titular doctor who talks to animals.