Bohemian Rhapsody: 5 ways the Queen trailer rocked



The latest trailer for the long-awaited Queen biopic offers almost as many layers as Bohemian Rhapsody.

The clip at nearly three minutes is mercifully nowhere near as long.

Packed full of the some of the group’s biggest hits, the trailer offers a dizzying snapshot into the highs and lows faced by the band and its iconic front man Freddie Mercury – played by Rami Malek.

Here are five things we learned:

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1. The music is for champions

Ever wondered what a mash-up of Bohemian Rhapsody and We Are The Champions might sound like? Well, it’s finally here.

As is the brooding bassline of the 1980s classic Another One Bites the Dust.

The trailer also teases a look at how the anthemic We Will Rock You took shape.

“I wanna give the audience a song that they can perform,” guitarist Brian May (played by Gwilym Lee) is shown telling Mercury.

“What’s the lyric?” the singer replies.

We all know the answer. You know what to do…

“Buddy you’re a strong man, hard man….”

(This writer happily takes full responsibility for ensuring this gets stuck in your head all day).

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2. The early years are covered

Queen in the new biopic
Queen in their glam rock days

In a move that is bound to please super-fans, it appears the biopic addresses the band’s early years, alongside their excesses at the height of rock stardom.

This brings gems of forgotten truth to the fore: notably the fact that Mercury was not the band’s original frontman.

In fact, he only joined the band, then called Smile, (under his original name of Farrokh Bulsara), after his friend, bassist Tim Staffell, quit to join Humpy Bong in 1970.

Fast-forward a year and Smile had changed their name to Queen (at the behest of Mercury), before playing their first show in what would become the classic line-up of Mercury, May, Taylor and Deacon in July 1971.

British actor Ben Hardy stars as drummer Taylor and appears in the trailer with American actor Joseph Mazzello, who portrays bassist Deacon.

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3. The band’s iconic Live Aid performance takes centre stage

The band helped raise £30m with their performance at Live Aid

As no strangers to huge stadium tours, the trailer, perhaps unsurprisingly, settles on the band’s iconic 1985 Live Aid performance at Wembley for its centre-piece.

Beamed live to 1.5 billion people worldwide, the concert – organised by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure – helped to raise funds for the ongoing Ethiopian famine by featuring the biggest bands in the world.

But it was Queen who arguably shone brighter than their illustrious company, including U2 and Elton John, by delivering what critics have gone on to regard as one of greatest live shows of all time.

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4. The love of Freddie’s life is a woman

Mary Austin with Freddie Mercury
Mary Austin was Freddie Mercury’s muse and love of his life

The first trailer faced criticism for failing to address Mercury’s sexuality – a point addressed this time around.

Although he is known today as an LGBT role model – the biopic features Mercury’s early girlfriend, Mary Austin.

Speaking to The Sunday Times last year, May said Mercury called Austin “the love of my life”.

The guitarist said the pair remained friends throughout his subsequent gay relationships – with Austin ultimately included in his will.

Detailing Mercury’s bisexual nature, he said: “In the beginning, the band lived on a shoestring. We couldn’t afford individual hotel rooms, so I would share a room with Freddie.

“There isn’t a lot I don’t know about Freddie and what he got up to in those days – which was not men, I have to tell you.

“It was fairly obvious when the visitors to Freddie’s dressing room started to change from hot chicks to hot men. It didn’t matter to us, why should it?,” said May.

Recalling the nonchalant manner in which Mercury addressed the change, May explained: “Freddie had this habit of saying, ‘Well, I suppose you realise this, that or the other,’ in this very offhand way, and he did say at some point, ‘I suppose you realise I’ve changed in my private life?”

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5. Freddie’s fight with Aids is dealt with respectfully

Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury
Rami Malek plays Freddie Mercury in the new film

The film’s original lead Sacha Baron Cohen revealed he quit the role in part over concerns the biopic aimed to deliver a sanitised version of Mercury’s life.

Amid his hard-partying ways, the singer also fought a secret battle with Aids at the peak of social intolerance towards the virus.

The trailer tackles this in a sensitive manner – prioritising Mercury’s musical talent and influence.

“What if I don’t have time,” asks Malek, playing Mercury.

The singer died in 1991, aged 45 – shortly before the advent of medical breakthroughs that transformed the treatment of HIV and Aids.

But despite his life being cut tragically short, the band’s influence, as this trailer shows, has more than endured.

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