On the 28th of October, 2018, the world premiere of the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody was released. Many people were very impressed by this film. However, some things shown in the movie differ from the truth. Avid fans immediately noticed what facts had been changed, while those who joined the army of fans only after watching the movie ended up having a not-so-correct idea about this story. But still, some of these falsehoods haven’t been noticed by even the biggest of fans.
Smiles Tv learned some interesting facts about the shooting process which revealed what “true moments” have been replaced with fiction at the will of the director.
- The exact copy of Wembley Stadium where Live Aid had been held was built on an airfield in London since the 1985 version of the stadium doesn’t exist anymore. The director of Live Aid was present on set and was impressed at how precise the reconstruction was.
- The Pepsi glasses on the piano are not a product placement. The whole performance was filmed in compliance with the smallest details, right down to the air kiss that Freddie Mercury sent to his mother from on stage.
- In the movie, the band members of Queen have doubts about whether they should perform at Live Aid. They believed that preparing for a concert that would be seen by the entire world within 2 weeks after a long break would be impossible. In fact, the pause in their work didn’t last for more than 1 year and they released a new album called The Works in 1984. After that, they went on a big tour and were ready to perform at Live Aid.
- According to the scenario, shortly before the legendary performance, Freddie told the group that he was HIV-infected. Though the final scene of the movie was very emotional with such an ending, it’s actually fiction. The singer didn’t know about the illness till 1987; he made a public statement on November 22, 1991, 2 days before his death.
- The Canadian singer Marc Martel contributed several vocal recordings for the film with rehearsals and improvisations.
- It wasn’t by chance that the singer took part in the recordings. Several years ago, Marc sent his cover versions of Queen songs to guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. They were amazed at the similarities between his voice and the voice of Freddie and created a tribute project called Queen Extravaganza in 2012 where Marc performed the most popular songs all around the world.
- Mike Myers, famous for his role of Austin Powers, played the role of EMI executive — the person who didn’t appreciate the “Bohemian Rhapsody” song. In 1992, in the movie Wayne’s World, Myers’ character sang “Bohemian Rhapsody” with his friends in a car.
- By the way, the Queen band members didn’t break their contract with EMI. They did have some disagreements, but after A Night at the Opera, the band released many albums with this label.
- Initially, it was Bryan Singer who was working on the movie but 20th Century Fox fired the director due to disagreements with the Queen participants and the actor performing the main role — Rami Malek. The biopic was finished by Dexter Fletcher.
- In the movie, Freddie meets Roger and Brian after their concert when frontman Tim Staffell decided to leave the project. In fact, Freddie and Tim had been friends long before the appearance of Queen. When Staffel left the band Smile, Mercury took his place.
- In the movie, guitarist Brian May composes “We Will Rock You” during a rehearsal in 1980; right after this scene, we’re shown fragments of their concert at Madison Square Garden. However, this hit actually appeared in 1977’s News of the World album several years before the concert.
- According to the film, the cause of discord in the band was Mercury’s solo album contracts. The musicians didn’t share Freddie’s aspirations to something new and asked him not to leave the band. The frontman insisted on his new direction and Roger Taylor told him, “You’ve just killed Queen.” In reality, every participant was trying to start their own solo albums and Mercury wasn’t the only one. In 1978, Taylor himself recorded a single and released the Fun in Space album in 1981.
- The official soundtrack of the movie includes several famous Queen songs and 11 recordings that had not previously been released. On October 19, 2018, Hollywood Records released a soundtrack on cassette, CD, and in digital format.
Interesting facts about Queen hits that aren’t related to the movie:
- The song with the catchy bass line, “Another One Bites the Dust” was written by the bass player of the band, John Deacon in 1980. However, in 1979, the band Chic released the song “Good Times” with the bass part that sounded very much like the Queen song. In an interview for New Musical Express, the leader of the group, Bernard Edwards, said it wasn’t an issue. The only thing that was embarrassing him was the fact that despite the difference of 1 year, everyone was blaming Chic for plagiarising and insisted that it was them and not Deacon who borrowed the famous bass part.
- The base of “The Show Must Go On” consists of a chord sequence from Eddie Money’s “Take a Little Bit” song. The theme of the song and the first verse were created by all the bandmates, while the lyrics and all the other parts were later composed by Brian May.
Bonus: The performance of Queen at Live Aid
Just like in other biopics, there are some inaccuracies in Bohemian Rhapsody. But despite these false claims, the fans of Freddie Mercury and Queen were satisfied with this film. What impressions did you have after watching the movie? Please tell us about it in the comments!