If you’ve managed to break the surface of the Comic-Con sea, you’ll have heard that Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat, Les Miserables) has indeed walked away from the role he was seemingly born to play.
Yesterday, Deadline Hollywood’s Nikki Finke broke the news that due to the age old reasoning of “creative differences,” Cohen has relinquished the role of Freddie Mercury in the upcoming biopic centered around the eclectic and mesmerizing front man of one of the most influential bands EVER, Queen.
But I’m with SBC on this one, and here’s why…
The remaining members of Queen (pictured above) have both script AND director approval over their story and while SBC wanted an R-rated, no-holds-barred history of the gifted yet closeted gay singer, Queen wants to make more of a PG movie (aka, a family-friendly that overlooks Mercury’s personal struggles).
Although SBC had recruited writer Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon, The Last King Of Scotland) and was talking with directors like David Fincher (Se7en, Fight Club) and Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables) to develop the project for himself, the band hasn’t approved any of them.
The film is still at Sony Pictures and GK Films but because Baron Cohen has left, no formal offer was made to Hooper; what happens now is anyone’s guess.
To be quite honest, there really isn’t ANYone who can play Mercury like Sacha Baron Cohen could…and I’ve always been fascinated by Mercury’s denial of his sexuality and his life-ending illness right up until the day he died. My only hope is that SBC and the remaining band members can come to an amicable agreement and bring SBC back into the fold and make a movie worthy of Queen fans around the world and, perhaps, some shiny Oscar gold.
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