After all the years (Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody project was announced back in 2010). After Sacha Baron Cohen-gate. After all the rumours and the wild speculation... we finally have an idea about what the finished Queen movie is going to look like. It's released in the UK this month. And this is what the trailers made us think.
1. Is that Freddie's voice? Brian's guitar playing?
If it's not, hats off, and Rami Malek might just be the most gifted impersonator in the history of the cinema. Although, let's face it, there's not much competition for this title. Val Kilmer was brilliant in The Doors' movie, but the film itself was 24-carat hokum.
2. That accent, though...
Despite this being Freddie's story, it's 52 seconds into the first trailer before we hear Malek speak a short sentence, while the only other time he says anything (at 1'12"), he sounds half-drunk, half-Dutch. Anyone remember Keanu Reeves in Bram Stoker's Dracula?
3. Malek does all the classic Freddies
There's Live Aid Freddie. There's leather catsuit Freddie. There's harlequin leotard Freddie. Red leather trouser Freddie. Fur coat Freddie. Be-crowned Freddie. White jumpsuit Freddie with angel wings. It's astonishing how many of these costumes are indelibly burned into the memory.
4. At first glance, the first trailer plays down Freddie's homosexuality
It's all longing glances from hot, flaxen-haired girls. So far, so seventies.
5. But not totally
Blink and you'll miss it, but 31 seconds in that all changes.
6. It's difficult to get a handle on the story being told, but...
Writer Peter Morgan has previous form when it comes to gritty/funny real-life dramas set in the 70s/80s. He was the guy who turned David Peace's Brian Clough novel The Damned United into a screenplay, as well as Frost/Nixon (about the David Frost/Richard Nixon interviews) and Rush, about the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda. And the movie's Instagram account suggests that they're not going to fall down on attention-to-detail.
7. They're like episodes of a Classic Albums documentary brought to life
All those isolated vocals, shots of reel-to-reel tape rewinding and gorgeously lit studios. Who doesn't love this stuff?
8. How did they film the Live Aid section?
The recreation of Live Aid looks like real Live Aid, but it can't be - the footage has a crisp, high-res feel. How do you cram 90,000 extras into a studio?
9. There's a cat
And there's very little in life that can't be improved by the addition of a cat.
10. It looks like a film we want to see
Let's face it: most music biopics are awful. From the torpid John & Yoko: A Love Story to Made-For-TV's very own Hysteria: The Def Leppard Story, rock pics have often been a byword for shamefully fabricated history and acting of the sort you'd expect at a badly-received school nativity play. But this looks – dare we day it – good.
That's not all: the film was produced by Brian May, Roger Taylor, Queen manager Jim Beach and Robert De Niro. De Niro was also the producer of the Queen musical, We Will Rock You. Director Dexter Fletcher has previous musical experience as the director of Proclaimers musical Sunshine On Leith (90% on Rotten Tomatoes), and as an actor: his first role was in Alan Parker's classic kids'n'custard-pies gangster movie Bugsy Malone. Little known fact: he was also in, uh, Kylie Minogue's Some Kind of Bliss video, the song co-written by Manic Street Preachers James Dean Bradfield and Sean Moore.
The right people are involved. These people all know what they're doing. This could be great.