Queen guitarist Brian May reported via his official website that Sacha Baron Cohen will not play Freddie Mercury in the upcoming biopic. According to Spin, May stated that Queen’s band manager Jim Beach was joking when he first mentioned Cohen.
Rumors of Cohen’s role in the biopic began in 2007. According to Spin, Cohen decided to leave the project in 2013 because his vision was colliding with what the band wished to see in the biopic. However, the rumor flared up again after Beach commented on Cohen during his acceptance speech after winning the Peter Grant Award for outstanding achievement in managerial skills. According to Consequence Of Sound, “You have probably followed the saga of the famous Queen-Freddie Mercury biopic which has been developing in Hollywood for the last seven years,” said Beach. “An important breakthrough is that we have now managed to persuade Sacha Baron Cohen to write, produce and direct this movie, and he has also agreed to star.”
May finally put these resurfaced rumors to rest with his post on his website. He posted the following:
“He [Jim Beach] said that, in response to enquirers about the progress on the Freddie feature film, that Sacha Baron Cohen had been re-engaged to write, produce, and direct the film, as well as starring in all four major roles ! I’m afraid some folks might have taken it seriously!”
The Freddie Mercury biopic continues to experience complication as the movie has been in the works for years. In addition to Cohen leaving the film in 2013, last year director Dexter Fletcher also dropped out of the project. Creative difference was cited as the reasoning. Currently, there is no set start date for when work will begin on the production of the biopic. Additionally, the film currently has no title.
The biopic is meant to commemorate the life of Queen’s frontman Freddie Mercury. The film is expected to cover the British singer, songwriter and producer through the prime of his career to his last days. Mercury died in 1991 from bronchial pneumonia caused by AIDS.
Last year, Queen released their album, Queen Forever, that featured a special Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson duet. Any additional updates and information about the film and Queen can be found on the group’s official website.