Released on 24 September 2012, on DVD and Blu-ray.
Length 85 minutes (DVD and Blu-ray documentary), 64 minutes (TV documentary), 19 minutes (DVD and blu-ray extra features)
The Great Pretender (documentary) (85 minutes)
Freddie Mercury Goes Solo (1985 interview with David Wigg) (7 minutes)
Extended Interview with Montserrat Caballe (7 minutes)
Making Barcelona: Special Edition 2012 (5 minutes)
Directed by Rhys Thomas
Produced by Jim Beach, Rhys Thomas and Joss Crowley
Supervising Producer for EMP: Alan Ravenscroft
Supervising Producer for Eagle Rock Entertainment: Andrew Winter
Executive Producers for Eagle Rock Entertainment: Terry Shand and Geoff Kempin
Cover Photograph: Peter Hince
Directory Of Photography: Ric Clark
Film Editor: Christopher Bird
Queen Archivist: Greg Brooks
Archive Researchers: Keith Badman, David Ross, Universal Media, Inc
Freddie Mercury's final interview and other selected documentary footage directed by Rudi Dolezal
TV Version Executive producer Mark Cooper
TV Version Series Editor Alan Yentob
This is a documentary about Freddie's life, which concentrates on his solo projects and life outside of the world of Queen. The 'Mr Bad Guy', 'The Great Pretender' and 'Barcelona' projects are all covered, with the focus on 'Barcelona', but unfortunately the 'Time' musical is only briefly mentioned and 'Love Kills' is not covered at all. Naturally the documentary features extensive interviews with Freddie, and interviews with Brian May, Roger Taylor, Montserrat Caballe, manager Jim Beach, ex-manager John Reid, producers Mack and David Richards, pianist Mike Moran, personal assistant Peter Freestone, writer Tim Rice, journalists David Wigg and Paul Gambuccini, comedian Matt Lucas, composer David Arnold, and a TV interview with Freddie's partner Jim Hutton.
The documentary features previously unseen interviews, promo video out-takes, live footage and photographs, footage of Freddie with the Royal Ballet in 1979, and short excerpts of the Queen track 'Let Me Live', recorded with Rod Stewart, and the Freddie track 'There Must Be More To Life Than This' with Michael Jackson.
On the DVD release, the main menu features an excerpt of 'The Great Pretender' when it first loads, with a slightly different version on subsequent reloads. It has links down the right hand side to play the documentary (title 2) and links to sub-menus for scene selection, bonus material, and subtitles, which play excerpts of the later demo of 'The Golden Boy', single version of 'Love Kills' and the 'Special Edition' version of 'Exercises In Free Love' respectively. Subtitles are available in English, German, Spanish, French, or off.
The Blu-ray release is almost identical, but the menu is a horizontal bar towards the bottom of the screen. The scene selection, bonus features, and subtitles all have the same options as the DVD, but appear as pop-up menus, rather than separate sub-menus. The menu plays the full single version of 'The Great Pretender', rather than an edit.
The first bonus feature is 'Freddie Mercury Goes Solo' (title 3), a 7 minute interview with David Wigg which was recorded in Munich in 1985. As the title suggests, Freddie discusses his solo album 'Mr Bad Guy', with excerpts from a number of album tracks, and a full transcription can be found on the David Wigg Interviews page. The other bonus features are 'Extended Interview with Montserrat Caballe' (title 4), a 7 minute interview in which she discusses meeting and working with Freddie, and 'Making Barcelona Special Edition 2012' (title 5), a 5 minute feature about the album, featuring interviews with orchestrator Stuart Morley, Jim Beach and Montserrat Caballe, footage of the recording sessions, and the 'live' performance at the La Nit Festival. Of the remaining titles, title 1 seems to be used in the menus and title 6 includes the Eagle Rock logo and copyright notice, which is shown when the main documentary completes.
The DVD and Blu-ray feature an identical documentary and bonus features, the only key difference is how the menus work. The documentary won a joint award at the 2013 Emmy Awards in the 'Arts Programming' category, tieing with a South Korean film, 'Hello Orchestra'.
Director Rhys Thomas had previously produced the 2011 Queen documentary 'Days Of Our Lives' and wrote and starred in the 2002 BBC comedy 'Fun At The Funeral Parlour' (which featured a theme tune by Brian), and went on to write and direct the 2014-2016 comedy 'Brian Pern' (which featured occasional interviews with Roger and several Queen references), as well as producing several other Queen DVD's. .
The TV version is edited down to 64 minutes and was broadcast on BBC One on 16 October 2012 at 10:35pm as part of the 'Imagine' series; it is essentially the same but makes a number of edits throughout the documentary, and restructures some elements. It begins with an introduction by Alan Yentob, filmed in front of the Dominion Theatre, with an excerpt of the Freddie version of 'Exercises In Free Love'. It then has a preview of the documentary, with various short clips from throughout the programme.
The TV version loses the elements highlighted in blue, but adds those in red.
- Outtakes from a David Wigg interview, footage of 'I Want To Break Free' at Rio, interview excerpts from throughout the program with Freddie's singalong at 'Live Aid', and interviews with Freddie, Brian and Jim Beach about Freddie going solo
- Excerpt from 'Mr Bad Guy', and further interviews with Jim Beach and Freddie, footage of Freddie from the 'One Vision' recording sessions, a short extract of 'Let Me Live' with Rod Stewart, 'There Must Be More To Life Than This' with Michael Jackson, and interviews with Jim Beach and Freddie about the tracks and their recording
- Footage of the 'I Was Born To Love You' promo video and outtakes, and interviews with Freddie, Jim Beach and Mack about songwriting, the 'Mr Bad Guy' US record contract, it's advance, it's lack of success, and living in Munich
- Excerpt of an instrumental version of 'Nevermore' with photographs of Freddie as a child, and interviews about his childhood with Freddie and Peter Freestone
- Interviews with Freddie, Roger and David Arnold (composer) about early Queen, with various live footage and promo videos, intercut with interview snippets
- Footage of Freddie recording his vocals for 'My Melancholy Blues', and interviews with John Reid, Paul Gambuccini and Freddie about his influences, with outtakes from the 'I Want To Break Free' promo video and an excerpt of 'Man Made Paradise'
- Interviews with Freddie and Peter Freestone, with footage of Freddie with the Royal Ballet in 1979
- Excerpts of 'I Feel Love' (Donna Summer) and 'Love Kills', and interviews with Jim Beach, Peter Freestone, Roger and John Reid about New York, fashion and lifestyle, with footage from Freddie's parties
- Interviews with Freddie and Brian about the 'Hot Space' album, an excerpt of 'Staying Power' with 'Queen On Fire - Live At The Bowl' footage, and interviews with John Reid, Peter Freestone, Mack, Roger and Brian about Paul Prenter's influence
- Interviews with Freddie and John Reid about friendships and Mary Austin, with footage of Freddie performing 'Somebody To Love' at Milton Keynes
- Interviews with Freddie, Brian and Jim Beach about Freddie going solo
- Excerpt from 'Mr Bad Guy', and further interviews with Jim Beach and Freddie, footage of Freddie from the 'One Vision' recording session, 'There Must Be More To Life Than This' with Michael Jackson, and interviews with Jim Beach and Freddie about the tracks and recording
- Footage of 'I Was Born To Love You', interviews with Freddie about songwriting, video outtakes of the song, and interviews with Jim Beach, Freddie and Mack about the 'Mr Bad Guy' US record contract, it's advance, it's lack of success, and living in Munich
- Excerpt of Pavarotti and Montserrat performing, and interviews with Freddie, Peter Freestone and Paul Gambuccini about his influences, and seeing Montserrat for the first time
- Interview with Jim Beach and Freddie, about wanting to perform with her, and Roger and Mack about Freddie struggling to finish the 'Mr Bad Guy' album, with footage from the 'One Vision' sessions
- Interviews with Jim Beach and Brian about lack of success, returning to Queen, with excerpt of 'Love Me Like There's No Tomorrow'
- Footage of 'We Will Rock You' or Freddie's singalong at Live Aid, interviews with Freddie and Brian about showmanship, footage of 'Another One Bites The Dust' at Wembley, and interview with David Arnold
- Excerpt of 'Made In Heaven' and interviews with Freddie and Jim Hutton about loneliness and meeting each other
- Excerpt of 'Life Is Real', footage from Freddie's 39th birthday party, and interviews with John Reid, David Wigg and Freddie about stopping partying, and footage of 'Is This The World We Created' at Knebworth
- Interviews with Brian, Paul Gambuccini and Freddie about stopping touring, with footage of 'A Kind Of Magic' promo video, excerpt of Pavarotti and Montserrat performing, and interviews with Freddie, Peter Freestone and Paul Gambuccini about his influences, and seeing Montserrat for the first time, and interviews with Freddie and Mike Moran about the 'Time' musical and working with Freddie, with outtakes of the 'Time' video and 'Keep Smiling'
- Footage of 'The Great Pretender' and interview with Freddie about the song, a TV review of the video, outtakes, and interviews with Matt Lucas and Freddie about his privacy and lack of interviews
- Interviews with Mike Moran, Freddie, Peter Freestone, Montserrat Caballe and Jim Beach, about 'Exercises In Free Love', meeting in Barcelona, and working on the album, with excerpts from 'The Duet' (The Fallen Priest) home demo
- Outtakes and footage from the 'Barcelona' promo video, and interviews with Freddie, Montserrat, Peter Freestone, Paul Gambuccini, Matt Lucas, Tim Rice and David Arnold, about the album's style, and single success
- Interviews with Jim Beach, Matt Lucas and Mike Moran about the recording contract for the album, and the freedom it gave
- Excerpt of 'Rachmaninov's Revenge' and interviews with Mike Moran, Freddie and Tim Rice, about difficulties in finishing the lyrics, getting Tim Rice involved, with footage of 'The Golden Boy' at the La Nit festival, and interviews with Matt Lucas about the track
- Interviews with Peter Freestone, Jim Hutton, Matt Lucas and David Arnold about Freddie finding out he had AIDS, his sexuality, and interview with Freddie about the 'I Want To Break Free' video
- Excerpt of a news report about AIDS, and interviews with Paul Gambuccini, Freddie, David Wigg and Montserrat about attitudes towards AIDS, his lifestyle, health and news reports
- Footage of 'How Can I Go On' from the La Nit festival, and interviews with Jim Beach, Freddie, Montserrat and Peter Freestone about Freddie's strength, continued creativity, and the 'Barcelona' album
- Interviews with John Reid, Jim Beach and Paul Gambuccini about the album's impact
- Out-takes from the 'I Want It All' video, interviews with Freddie and Peter Freestone about returning to Queen, TV footage of awards ceremonies, footage from 'Innuendo', interviews with Matt Lucas, David Richards and Brian, about recording the album, with outtakes from the 'Headlong' video
- Interviews with Peter Freestone about Freddie's cats, with excerpt of 'Delilah', home footage of his cats and Christmas with Mary Austin's son, and interviews with Peter Freestone, Brian, Freddie, and David Richards, about his illness, treatment and recording
- Excerpt of 'A Winter's Tale', interviews with Jim Beach, Jim Hutton, David Richards and Matt Lucas, about Freddie's last days and his death, with footage from news reports
- Interviews with Brian and Roger about press intrusion, with footage of Brian and Roger on TV-AM
- Excerpt of 'A Winter's Tale', news reports about the 'Made In Heaven' album, interviews with Brian and Roger, and footage from the 'No-One But You' and 'These Are The Days Of Our Lives' promo videos
- Clip from 'Top Of The Pops', footage of the 'Living On My Own' remix video, and interview with Jim Beach about the track
- Interviews with Freddie and Matt Lucas about his songs, Jim Beach about the 'Barcelona' Special Edition album, and footage from its recording session
- Footage of the 'Barcelona' Ku Klub performance, and interview with Paul Gambuccini about the success of the track in 1992
- Interviews with Brian, Freddie and Roger about Freddie's life, and how he would like to be remembered, with footage of the 'Made In Heaven' video, with the Queen version over the top
- Credits - 'When This Tired Old Body Wants To Sing', with footage from numerous promo videos, and interview soundbites from Freddie to various worldwide territories