While Sacha Baron Cohen may have been the most perfect physical casting ever for the role of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, he departed the project over "creative differences" with the band. He toyed with the idea of coming back last year, but that isn't going to happen now that Mr. Robot star Rami Malek has taken over with a possible director joining him.
According to Deadline, Malek will play Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, with Bryan Singer in talks to direct. 20th Century Fox have come aboard to fast track the film now, perhaps sensing a potential Oscar contender in the future. Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything) wrote the script, which has apparently met the approval of the band. One of the main bones of contention with Cohen was that he wanted an edgier approach while the band members sought something more PG. Another incarnation of the project saw Dexter Fletcher directing Ben Whishaw, but that didn't work out, either.
This is a big move for Malek on a film that is sure to have a lot of eyeballs on it. And for Singer it's a move away from the X-Men for a while, which he could probably use after the way X-Men: Apocalypse turned out.