Coming to DVD and Blu-ray on September 25th is the Freddie Mercury documentary, The Great Pretender. The film -- which is directed and produced by Rhys Thomas, who served as the producer of the acclaimed 2011 Queen documentary, Days Of Our Lives -- delves into Mercury's solo work and life apart from the band. The doc's archival footage is drawn from rare interviews with Mercury, concerts, video shoots, and personal material -- much of it being seen for the first time. The Great Pretender features newly filmed contributions from fellow Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor, Queen manager Jim Beach, and lyricist Tim Rice, among others.
Among the many rarities in The Great Pretender are the first public airing of Mercury and Rod Stewart recording their 1984 demo of "Take Another Piece Of My Heart," a snippet of Mercury's early-'80s unreleased Michael Jackson collaboration, "There Must Be More To Life Than This," as well as footage of the Queen frontman with the Royal Ballet 1979.
The film includes outtakes from the video shoots for "I Want To Break Free," "One Vision," "Days Of Our Lives," "I Want It All," "A Kind Of Magic," "Princes Of The Universe," "Living On My Own," "Born To Love You," "The Great Pretender," "Made In Heaven," and "Who Wants to Live Forever."
Also discovered during the film's production were 10 cans of footage from Freddie's 39th Black and White birthday party in Munich's Mrs. Henderson's nightclub in 1985. Originally filmed for the video for "Living On My Own," the footage was banned by Mercury's record company because of its cross-dressing theme.
There's still no word on the upcoming biopic on Mercury, which is set to star Borat actor, Sacha Baron Cohen. Last spring, Brian May told the press that Baron Cohen is the perfect choice for Mercury -- but prepped fans for the long wait until they've got a suitable shooting script.
Drummer Roger Taylor told us that the film remains on hold until the script is just right: "I haven't heard a thing in about a month. They've done a few rewrites; they're just trying to get the script absolutely right. And we don't feel it's quite right yet. And I think that so many movies come out and they don't have. . . y'know, the script's not quite up to it. And everything is in place, except really -- well, really not everything -- but I think we need to get that script approved by everybody -- including the producers and ourselves."