People forget how much of a massive success Bohemian Rhapsody was back in 2018. The Queen biopic earned more than $900 million worldwide off of a budget of $55 million. It won four Oscars that year, too, including Best Actor for star Rami Malek and who knows how many more Queen albums were sold following its release.
The movie did run into trouble during production, of course, when director Bryan Singer was fired due to erratic behavior on set and a rocky relationship with Malek. Singer was replaced by Dexter Fletcher though who finished the movie and ironically, went on to direct the Elton John biopic, Rocketman.
Despite the troubled production, such a success might warrant a sequel and according to Queen guitarist Brian May, who served as a consultant on the film alongside drummer Roger Taylor, they have discussed that possibility.
“Don’t think we didn’t think about it. We’ve talked. Basically we think not, at the moment. Things could change, I suppose, but I think it would be difficult,” said May to Rolling Stone.
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The movie ends with the band’s iconic Live Aid performance in 1985, but they did go on to record three more albums before Freddie Mercury’s death in 1991. And if the sequel tracked those years, it would certainly be a sad story. But like the first one, they could easily jump around in time and cover other aspects of the band that were missed in the original. Still, May believes it’s doubtful, saying:
“There’s a million things in our career which you couldn’t show in a movie since the movie had to be so simplified to make it watchable. But we really don’t think there’s another movie there. That’s the long and the short of it.”
Of course, the studio might think differently considering its financial potential. Even May couldn’t believe how successful the first movie was. But remember, Bohemian Rhapsody was a Fox film so the property is now owned by Disney and if you thought the first movie was somewhat sanitized, what would a sequel look like under the family-friendly Mouse House?
Then again, the biopic glossed over a lot of Mercury’s drug history as well as his promiscuity, which ultimately led to his illness. And unfortunately, the band was largely ignored, too. As such, they certainly have enough material for a follow up if they decide to make one.