Hot off directing the musicalSunshine On Leith, British actor-turned-helmer Dexter Fletcherhas closed a deal to helm the movie on rock supergroup Queen, with frontman Freddie Mercury to be played Ben Whishaw. GK Films’ Graham King is producing, and Sony Pictures has first crack at the film. This has been a passion project for King for several years, and it started with Sacha Baron Cohen attached to play Mercury, the singular-voiced frontman. Fletcher, who’s repped by WME and Independent, made his directorial debut with the BAFTA-nominated Wild Bill before directingSunshine On Leith, a musical based on the Proclaimers songbook. Before that, Fletcher became a familiar face acting in films that include Guy Ritchie’s Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels. Whishaw has been rumored to be getting the Mercury role for some time.
Whishaw, who got his breakthrough in the adaptation of the serial killer novelPerfume, is playing Herman Melville in the Ron Howard-directed The Heart Of The Sea, the Warner Bros film that stars Chris Hemsworth about the actual whale attack that spawned Melville’s Moby Dick. He starred in Cloud Atlas and played Q in the 007 film Skyfall and will reprise that role in the next installment. He’s repped by CAA and Hamilton Hodell.
(I was sad when Sacha Baron Cohen backed out, but this could be interesting…)
Augh that last row of John! That right there. That is what I want.
They are very, very different energies and they both fed into the voice. Smaug had to really be rich and deep and come from the same bowels that create all that fire.
Also, I wanted it to be worn — not necessarily old but I wanted there to be an element of it that sounded like hot air being blown over flaming coals rather than a crisp, clean, delicate or fresh voice.
I shredded my vocal cords to bits trying to do very weird things. Some guys came and they said, “You’ve already added effects to this, right?” And they went, “No, no, that’s just him on his own in front of a microphone.” They went, “Wow.” That was great. I was pleased to impress that crowd.
There was a scene in The Office in which Tim Canterbury, the benign sales rep played by Martin Freeman, compared his life to a roll of the dice.
"My situation now may only be a three. If I jack that in, go for something bigger and better, I could easily roll a six," he told the programme’s faux documentary maker. "I could also roll a one. OK? So I think … just leave the dice alone."
Freeman, who will star alongside Benedict Cumberbatch in the eagerly awaited return on New Year’s Day of BBC1's Sherlock, and as Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s blockbuster sequel The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug next week, has just rolled a double six.