For some time now, a movie tracking the life of classic rock supergroup Queen frontman Freddy Mercury has been slowly being put together. Sacha Baron Cohen has been attached to play Mercury and for the last couple of years the surviving members of the band have been overseeing development of a screenplay, first with Nixon screenwriters Stephen J Rivele and Christopher Wilkinson and more recently with Peter Morgan. Variety is now reporting that the poroject is close to getting a director attached as well – High Fidelity’s Stephen Frears.
Frears seems like a good fit for the film. He has previously worked with Morgan on The Deal and The Queen. Variety does point out that Frears is not a definite, though, and that there may be a few other unnamed directors in contention for the job.
The film, at one point in the past referred to by Queen guitarist Brian May as We Will Rock You, is reported to be following the formative years of the band and will culminate with their 1rformance, cited by many critics as one of the greatest live rock performances ever. It will not focus on Mercury’s last few years and eventual death in 1991 from complications from AIDS.
Although Cohen has demonstrated some impressive singing chops in 2007’s Sweeney Todd, it is unclear if he will be singing in his role or lipsynching to the classic Queen tracks. But with the surviving members of the band participating, we know that at least the band’s music will be represented.