“Bohemian Rhapsody,” one of the more controversial Oscar winners in recent memory, could be getting a sequel down the road. Guitarist Brian May originally cast doubt on a sequel last summer, telling Rolling Stone, “We don’t really think there’s another movie there. That’s the long and the short of it…I think we should look somewhere else. There are other ideas that we had, but I don’t think a sequel will happen.” But May appeared to change course during an Instagram Live this week (via NME), telling Queen fans that sequel ideas are now being considered.
“We are looking at it. Yeah, we have been looking at ideas,” May said. “It’s going to be hard to follow that one as none of us could have predicted how massive that was going to be. We put a lot of heart and soul into making it and no one could have predicted [its success] as it was bigger than ‘Gone with the Wind.’ But yes, we are thinking maybe it could happen, but it would have to be a great script. It’s going to take a while to figure that out.”
While “Bohemian Rhapsody” is not bigger than “Gone with the Wind” when adjusted for inflation, “Bohemian” was still inarguably a box office powerhouse when released in fall 2018. The movie grossed $904 million worldwide, a number often reserved for comic-book tentpoles and franchise films. The movie was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won four prizes: Best Actor for Rami Malek, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing. “Rhapsody” remains the highest-grossing music film and biopic ever made.
The film’s Oscar wins proved controversial, particularly in the Best Film Editing category. Many critics believed the Queen biopic was one of the worst-edited films of the year (IndieWire’s David Ehrlich gave the film a D review and called it royally embarrassing). Following the Oscars, a scene from the film in which the band meets with their eventual manager, John Reid (Aidan Gillen), went viral online for its sloppy and disorienting editing rhythm. The scene even inspired a video essay examining the bad editing choices, and has earned over 1.6 million views on YouTube.
While editor John Ottman deserves credit for stitching together a coherent film following the behind-the-scenes drama that resulted in director Bryan Singer being fired from “Bohemian Rhapsody” with three weeks left in production, not even he defended the much-mocked scene of Queen’s meeting with Reid. In an interview with The Washington Post, Ottman was surprised to find out the scene had gone viral, but he knew exactly the reason why.
“Whenever I see it, I want to put a bag over my head,” Ottman said. “Because that’s not my aesthetic. If there’s ever an extended version of the film where I can put a couple scenes back, I will recut that scene!”