Who’s excited about the Freddie Mercury biopic? Me!!!!! As Dustin reported a few months ago, Queen’s mustachio’d, tight-panted lead singer will be played by Sacha Baron Cohen (presumably because he had his Borat mustache at the ready). Peter Morgan (The Queen, I know, right??) has been tapped to pen the script. He’s a terrific writer and has a knack for turning even dry material (ahem, Frost/Nixon) into riveting drama.
Freddie Mercury’s life is, however, anything but dry material. There’s a bit of controversy surrounding the fact that the film will not focus at all on Mercury’s death from AIDS but will cover, instead, Mercury’s life from the formation of Queen to the band’s famed performance at Wembley Stadium for Live Aid in 1985. This time frame will, no doubt, enable Morgan et al. to cram as much music into the film as possible. I’m not certain how I feel about skirting the AIDS issue, but I do agree that nothing makes a bad movie better and good movie greater than a little Queen. So here they are, born to be kings, the most memorable uses of Queen in film and television.
“Somebody to Love” - Ella Enchanted
Oh, I know, I’m not starting strong here. Perhaps I’ll blow my reputation with you if I admit that I’ve seen this movie several times. It’s a proper mess with a puffy Cary Elwes destroying much of his fairytale comedy cred. But Hathaway, as we now all know, has a great set of pipes and Hugh Dancy is awfully charming.
“Don’t Stop Me Now” - Shaun of the Dead
This is my personal favorite use of Queen in anything ever. I think I’ve betrayed too much of my Edgar Wright fangirlism of late, so I’ll let it speak for itself. This version is a bit grainy, so if it’s your first time experiencing Shaun, Ed, Liz and the pool cues, there’s a better one here.
“We Will Rock You” - A Knight’s Tale
Here’s a bit of a cheat because I’m posting this video mainly to relish in Paul Bettany’s luminous, nay, transcendent performance as Geoffrey Chaucer. Watch him Bettanying up the place. Should you so desire, and I know there is a contingent of you that may, you can also click here to see Robbie Williams prance about in a slinky chain mail tanktop singing “We Are the Champions”. I’m not going to lie to you, I don’t regret the four minutes and three seconds of my life I spent watching it.
“Flash” - Flash Gordon
D-Day claims you comic book nerds and nerdettes will throw me on a pyre made of shredded Marvel Zombies if I don’t include this clip. I’ve never seen Flash Gordon, but now I really, really want to.
“The Show Must Go On” - Moulin Rouge
Remember when Nicole Kidman’s face moved? Me too. Good times. Also, that’s not Jim Broadbent singing, but that is him emoting. And how.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” - Wayne’s World
Was this your introduction to Queen? It was mine. I had no idea what a “Scaramouche,” “fandango” or “Beelzebub” was, but I knew that I liked it.
“Princes of the Universe” - All of the Highlander things
This is it. Queen is the soundtrack of all of Highlander Nation. Maybe you prefer Adrian Paul’s ponytail’d Duncan. Possibly you thrill at the sight of Christopher Lambert and his Cro-Magnon brow rolling around with a fetching young lady. Mayhap you think a famous Scotsman playing a Spaniard is ridiculous. Certainly you cheered when Richie died on the television show (of course you did, he was so disgustingly earnest). Queen and Highlander are inextricably linked. This, my final gift to you, involves Mercury in all his tight-panted glory. Seriously, those pants are tight. Enjoy.
Joanna Robinson keeps Moët et Chandon in a pretty cabinet and tried to give you a new view of Christina Hendricks’ bum. Robinson is, alas, too much of a delicate flower for what pops up when you type variations of “Hendricks Bum/Bottom/Rear” into the googles.