Queen guitarist Brian May says he and bandmate Roger Taylor have stuck with the Freddie Mercury biopic for eight years because it’s their only opportunity to do it properly. The Bohemian Rhapsody project has encountered a series of holdups associated with actors, script and directors since work began in 2009. After another change of director earlier this month, it’s set to be released on Dec. 25, 2018, with Rami Malek playing the lead role.

“We’re finally seeing it coming to fruition, although I can’t say too much about it,” May said in a new interview with TeamRock. “Eight years we’ve been working on getting it off the ground. Roger and I – to some extent against our will – have hung in there for all this time. But finally we’ve arrived at a place where we have the right director and the right script and we feel good about it.

“We’re very conscious that we get one shot, and if we don’t do it, someone else will do it badly. We will do it without avoiding anything – any aspect of Freddie. But we will try to keep it all in balance. I think if we get it right it will crystallize the way the world understands Freddie.”

May said Mercury thought of himself as “a musician and a creator first” and continued: “So that’s a perspective we want to keep. He was a family member second, with us as a group. It was a very strong thing, and we’d like that to be represented. And the whole thing about his sexuality and his flamboyance, if you want to call it that, and all the things that made him tick, they are also vitally important as well, and none of them can be ducked or smoothed over.

“We don’t want to present him as some kind of unreal person. He had, like the rest of us, his great bits and his not-so-great bits. And in a sense there’s a kind of superhero quality to him. I think if we get it right, people will appreciate all over again what a great bit of machinery Freddie was.”

Bohemian Rhapsody tracks Queen’s career from their early days to their iconic appearance at Live Aid in 1985, six years before Mercury died.

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