Sacha Baron Cohen has dropped out of an in-development biopic of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. Cohen had been circling the role of the flamboyant frontman of the classic rock band Queen, but it is now being reported that there are “creative differences” between the actor and the members of the band who hold script and director approval on the film.
According to Deadline, “the band wanted to make more of a PG movie about Queen while Cohen was counting on a gritty R-rated tell-all centered around the gay singer.” I suppose it is understandable that the band would want to protect the image of their friend, but given his ability to disappear into a role as well as his impressive singing voice showcased in 2007’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and last year’s Les Miserables, the loss of Cohen is a disappointment.
The members of Queen have been notoriously difficult in trying to find the creative talents to make the movie that they want. Cohen had brought in Frost/Nixon scripter Peter Morgan and various directors including David Fincher and Tom Hooper to tailor the project towards his own strengths, but none of them passed muster with the remaining members of the bad.
Presumably studio Sony will go back to the drawing board to find someone else to star in the project.