With the possible exceptions of David Bowie and Elton John, it’s a challenge to name a ’70s-era rock star more flamboyant than the late and indisputably amazing Freddie Mercury. Therefore fans were excited when Sacha Baron Cohen (himself no stranger to excess) was intent on playing the great Queen vocalist in a film biography, but now it seems that’s not going to happen, after all. The actor who embodied Borat and Bruno and who’s demonstrated solid musical chops in films such Les Miserables and Sweeney Todd has split from the project due to creative differences with the surviving members of Queen, according to Deadline.
Mercury, who died of AIDS-related causes in 1991, led a very complicated life and Cohen wanted to depict him accurately. However, as Deadline reports, “the band wanted to make more of a PG movie about Queen while Cohen was counting on a gritty R-rated tell-all centered around the gay singer.” This begs the question: Who the hell would want to watch a PG-rated film about Freddie Mercury?
Cohen had reportedly interested some A-list directors in the project including David Fincher and Tom Hooper and had screenwriter Peter Morgan (Oscar-nominated, coincidentally, for The Queen) on board. Now it’s unknown what will happen to the project.
Do you think the project should the project be abandoned? If not, tell us who you think can play Freddie in the comments section.