Queen’s Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody doesn’t leave much room for a sequel. The film concludes with the band’s iconic 1985 performance of Live Aid before giving way to a brief summary about Mercury’s battle with AIDS and his death in November 1991.
Now, though, comes word from Bohemian Rhapsody producer Rudi Dolezal of plans for a sequel. Dolezal told Page Six that a follow-up film is now “being heavily discussed in the Queen family” and would likely pick up with the band’s Live Aid performance. Queen guitarist Brian May similarly teased such a project in an interview late last year, saying, “I think Live Aid is a good point to leave it. Who knows, there might be a sequel.”
While there’s a six-year gap between Live Aid and Mercury’s death, the singer was reclusive for much of it. He did embark on one final tour with Queen in 1986, but Mercury’s failing health mostly confided him to the studio. He remained active through the final months of his life, recording several projects including 1989’s The Miracle and 1991’s Innuendo — though, neither album is particularly celebrated.
Queen shied away from Sacha-Baron Cohen’s original vision for Bohemian Rhapsody, believing it was too “outrageous” for mainstream audiences. Thus, they opted for a Disneyfied, PG-13 biopic that largely scrubbed Mercury’s homosexuality and battle with AIDS from its storyline. With that in mind, it’s hard to imagine Queen wanting to depict the most harrowing era of Mercury’s life in a follow-up film. Perhaps they’ll instead focus on the years after Mercury’s death, including their stints with Paul Rodgers and Adam Lambert, but who would really want to see that?
For his part, Bohemian Rhapsody star Rami Malek, whose portrayal of Mercury earned him an Academy Award, has yet to be contacted about a possible sequel.
Update – 11:40 p.m.: Graham King, another producer of Bohemian Rhapsody, told Slash Film that the reports were untrue.