For quite a long time now, Sacha Baron Cohen has been attached to play Freddie Mercury in a biopic of the Queen lead singer. However now Deadline reports that Cohen has exited the movie, due to creative differences with the remaining members of the legendary British band.
Cohen seemingly felt the band members were trying to water down the story, as they preferred a PG rated movie about Queen, while Cohen wanted a ‘gritty R-rated tell-all centered around the gifted gay singer’. There were also crew issues, as Cohen apparently tried to bring in top names such as screenwriter Peter Morgan (The Queen), as well as talking to directors like David Fincher and Tom Hooper. However none were approved by the band, who have both script and director approval .
Hooper, the Oscar-winning helmer of The King Speech and Les Miserables, was apparently ready to sign up, but due to the creative differences, no formal offer could be made.
Considering the life Mercury lived, you can understand why Cohen stood his ground, as a sanitised version isn’t any good to anyone – indeed it’s sometimes a shame that the remaining members of Queen can’t remember who they used to be, instead of the rather dull middle-aged men they are today (especially as they still sometimes seem uncomfortable fully acknowledging Mercury’s sexuality). However, given the resemblance between Sacha and Freddie, it’s difficult to imagine anyone else taking on the role.