Rami Malek
Rami Malek is set to play Freddie Mercury after Sacha Baron Cohen dropped out of the Queen biopic Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Playing Freddie Mercury comes with a heavy responsibility and it looks like Rami Malek is handling that load pretty well. The actor has been cast to play the iconic singer in a biopic and the film's first look photo is giving fans very little to complain about.

Malek is currently preparing to film Bohemian Rhapsody, which tracks Mercury's career and life as the lead member of Queen from 1970, right up until the band's performance at Live Aid in 1985.

For its first look photo, released to Entertainment Weekly on the rocker's 71<sup>st birthday (5 September), Malek is portrayed channelling Mercury's look from the global concert, six years before he died of complications from Aids at the age of 45.

"When you're able to open your eyes and see a different person staring back at you in the mirror, it's a very affirming moment," Malek explained of his first time dressing up as the We Are The Champions singer. "[It] only adds to the level of confidence that one would need to play Freddie Mercury."

Not only will the Mr Robot actor portray Mercury on camera, he will also attempt to lend his voice to some of the film's singing parts – a major challenge considering the British rocker is famed for his four-octave voice. "We're going to use Freddie as much as possible and use myself as much as possible," the 36-year-old explained. "I'm in Abbey Road [Studios] right now if that should say anything to you. I'm not working on my acting."

Malek is not the only one with a big challenge ahead of him. X-Men's Bryan Singer, who is directing the project, wants his work to be a homage to the singer. "It won't just be the dark Freddie story, but that being said, that also will be honoured," Singer said. "It's about collaboration. It's a celebration."

Additionally, Joseph Mazzello, Ben Hardy and Gwilym Lee will take on the roles of Queen's other members John Deacon, Roger Taylor and Brian May in Bohemian Rhapsody, which is expected to release on 25 December, 2018.