The Queen biopic has hit its share of starts and stalls over the past year. First, director Tom Hooper circled the project, but nothing came of it. Then last July, fans were dismayed to learn that Sacha Baron Cohen pulled out after years of being attached to play legendary frontman Freddie Mercury. Just when it seemed as though the film would never see the light of day, a director and lead actor were just announced.

Deadline reports that actor/director Dexter Fletcher has signed on to bring Queen’s story to the big screen. Based off a script by Peter Morgan – and featuring a number of Queen songs – the film will chronicle the rock supergroup’s formative years up until their famous 1985 Live Aid performance. Considering that Fletcher just came off of helming the TIFF selection Sunshine on Leith, a British jukebox musical tribute to The Proclaimers, it seems appropriate that he would take on another music-related project.

It was also revealed that Ben Whishaw – best known as the nerdy heartthrob Q in Skyfall – will step into the role of Mercury. The actor apparently has a penchant for portraying real-life figures, as he’ll soon play writer Herman Melville in director Ron Howard’s Moby Dick-inspired tale The Heart Of The Sea.

Now that the major posts are filled, producer GK Films is itching to start production. Fletcher is in the process of meeting with the remaining members of Queen, so perhaps we’ll have some more updates on the film soon.

Are you more optimistic about the film now that Fletcher and Whishaw are involved?

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