bohemian rhapsody sequel

Update: We reached out to Graham King, the producer who spent years ushering Bohemian Rhapsody to the big screen, to ask about the validity of this claim about a sequel. His publicist tells us it is not true. Our original article continues.

This story is making the rounds, so it is our duty to bring it to you – even though it’s probably a bunch of bull. A Queen music video director recently claimed that a Bohemian Rhapsody sequel was probably in the works. I suppose there’s a way to justify this if it’s true: Bohemian Rhapsody was a huge hit, and even won a few Oscars – including Best Actor. That’s the type of hype producers like to cash in on. The problem is Bohemian Rhapsody concludes, more or less, at the end of Freddie Mercury’s life. But maybe, just maybe, if this sequel is happening, it’s about how the rest of Queen continued on after Mercury’s death. The question is: would anyone want to watch that?

All right, let me get this out of the way up front: this story is (most likely) bullshit. I’m skeptical in nature, and this is making my inner skeptic do backflips. Page Six has a quote from Rudi Dolezal, a Queen music video director who was friendly with Freddie Mercury, saying: “I’m sure [Queen’s manager Jim Beach] plans a sequel that starts with Live Aid.” Dolezal also adds that a sequel is “being heavily discussed in the Queen family.”

Could this be even slightly true? Dolezal has a Queen connection, but he doesn’t exactly seem in the loop. He’s not a member of the band, nor does he have any insider knowledge of the Bohemian Rhapsody production. In short, this sounds as if Dolezal is reporting a rumor he might have picked up somewhere. But let’s say this is 100% accurate. Would 20th Century Fox greenlight a sequel?

Skeptical as I am, I wouldn’t be totally surprised if Fox did say yes to the idea. After all, Bohemian Rhapsody was a major hit, earning a total box office of around $869.5 million. That’s serious money, and if there’s one thing studios love more than artistic merit, it’s making that fat cash. Let’s keep going, then, shall we? Let’s assume the members of Queen are indeed talking about a sequel. That, too, wouldn’t be entirely surprising. The surviving members of Queen were very hands-on when it came to the making of Bohemian Rhapsody, and it’s clear that they loved the attention the film brought back to the band. While Freddie Mercury is no longer with us, Queen is still a band performing live shows – they’re even about to kick off a new tour. As far as they’re concerned, a sequel would be even more publicity for the band.

Which brings us to the next question: just what the hell would a Bohemian Rhapsody sequel be about? While Freddie Mercury, as played by Rami Malek, doesn’t die on screen in the first film, the movie makes it seem as if it’s depicting Mercury’s final days. Here I have to add that Bohemian Rhapsody played very fast and loose with facts, and shifted the times of certain events for dramatic effect. Bohemian Rhapsody concludes with the Live Aid concert being treated as one of the last things Mercury did, after learning he had AIDS. In real life, Mercury didn’t learn he had AIDS until almost two years after the Live Aid performance. In any case, Bohemian Rhapsody concludes with a title card highlighting the details behind Mercury’s death.

With Mercury dead, how could a Bohemian Rhapsody sequel work? As I said above, the band is still around and touring – with Adam Lambert as their new lead singer. Maybe, just maybe, this potential sequel would be about how the band picked themselves up and carried on in the wake of Mercury’s death. But is that what anyone wants to see? The big draws of Bohemian Rhapsody were the music and Malek’s performance as Mercury. If you remove the real-life Mercury’s unbeatable singing voice, and also (presumably) Malek, what is there to enjoy? No offense to the surviving members of Queen, or Adam Lambert, but I sincerely doubt anyone wants to see a movie about them without Freddie Mercury.

Which ultimately doesn’t matter, because like I said at the start, this story is bullshit.

Unless it isn’t.

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