So, we weren’t expecting this, and with good reason: it’s not true.
On his official blog, Queen member Brian May said that Jim Beach (Queen Manager) was actually only joking when he said Cohen would be starring in, directing and writing a Freddie Mercury biopic.
“[The reports don’t] mention a small joke that Jim threw in during his acceptance speech,” May blogged.
“He said that, in response to enquiries 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!”
So, Cohen will NOT be doing the following…
Well, we weren’t really expecting this.
It seems that the surviving members of the classic rock group Queen have officially come around to the idea of Sacha Baron Cohen starring as Freddie Mercury in a long-gestating biopic. Not only that, they’ve given him the green light to direct and write it as well.
As reported by Daily Mail, Queen band manager Jim Beach broke the news at the Artist & Management Awards at London’s Troxy.
“You have probably followed the saga of the famous Queen-Freddie Mercury biopic which has been developing in Hollywood for the last seven years,” Beach said.
“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.”
The band’s surviving members Brian May and Roger Taylor didn’t agree with Cohen’s take on the part, a factor that would see Cohen dropping out of the project in 2013.
Cohen’s departure saw British actor-turned-director Dexter Fletcher come on board as director and actor Ben Whishaw (Perfume,Cloud Atlas) in talks to play Mercury, but it looks like that plan’s been dumped in favour of Cohen’s take.
It’s going to be interesting to see how Cohen fares as a first-time director, especially on a high-profile project such as this.