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Sacha Baron Cohen is Freddie Mercury in the Story of Queen

by
September 16, 2010
Source: Deadline

Sacha Baron Cohen

With his obnoxious, raunchy and always hilarious antics in films like Brüno, Borat, and Talladega Nights, actor Sacha Baron Cohen has had a strong presence in the comedy world. Even his turn in Tim Burton's dark musical Sweeney Todd has a comedic touch to it. Now Cohen is taking the plunge into quite a serious role as Deadline reports the actor has signed on to play Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of one of rock and roll's greatest bands: Queen. The band responsible for hits like Bohemian Rhapsody, We Will Rock You and Killer Queen will have their musical exploits chronicled in a feature film from Frost/Nixon writer Peter Morgan.

No director is yet attached to the project, but the film will chronicle the history of the band from their formative years up until their appearance at Live Aid in 1985 which is largely considered to be one of the greatest live performances of all-time. GK Films (who recently produced The Town) is behind the project which has luckily grabbed a rights package to Queen that includes all of the signature songs from the band's discography. In addition to their chart-topping, sing-a-long inducing tracks, remember that Queen is also responsible for the Flash Gordon soundtrack and Princes of the Universe, the pseudo-theme from Highlander.

The real question is whether Cohen will use his singing chops (that he quite adequately displayed in Sweeney Todd) to portray Mercury's signature voice. The lead singer is considered to be one of the best and most unique vocals in rock history, and while Cohen is certainly a chameleon on-screen, I think using Mercury's recorded vocals would be the best option. Apparently that decision won't be made until a director is brought on board. One decision that's locked is the conclusion of the story of Queen happening well before Mercury's 1991 death from AIDS complications. It's not just a Freddie Mercury biopic after all.

Perhaps that greatest part of this production, besides the talents of Cohen and screenwriter Peter Morgan, is the fact that every single surviving member of Queen (Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon) have formed a makeshift production company (appropriately called Queen Films) to produce the film themselves. It's unclear if the film will come together immediately after Cohen finishes production on Martin Scorsese's adaptation of The Invention of Hugo Cabret or if his forthcoming dual role comedy The Dictator will come first. All I know, is Queen is one of my favorite bands, and I can't think of anyone better than Cohen to lead them. We'll keep you posted as this project develops. Interested?

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  • Miker california
    Don't do it!!!
  • nelson
    he does have a striking resemblance to him imo perfect casting
  • http://imurals.com jedibilly
    I hope they make it a serious movie and not a comedy. It's not funny when someone dies of AIDS.
  • Al
    Now this is something I can get behind. I believe a Best Actor nomination is cooking up.
  • Jimmy Love
    As long as they don't show any of his nether regions I may watch. Queen is an awesome band! But I'm tired of cohen exposing himself constantly
  • Garcia
    I hope it's done tasteful and concentrates on the musical genius of Freddie Mercury. Where do you think Michael Jackson got his famous one glove scene? He got it from Freddie Mercury. Watch youtube 'Killer Queen 1974' and there's your answer. Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor, three more musical geniuses and all four played their instruments to perfection. Then there's their songwriting. And I won't even discuss Freddie's vocals because there are no words. But I'm torn. Johnny Depp has a striking resemblance to a long haired clean shaved Freddie but then Sacha has a striking resemblance to a short haired mustached Freddie. Depp is Freddie's height. Sacha is too tall. Like Freddie wrote, "Any way the wind blows".
  • gonnarentit
    I think we will all be pleasantly suprised by Cohen. He totally immerses himself in character. This will be an Oscar worthy performance for sure.
  • Xerxex
    ooh sounds good to me. I'd better hear bohemian rhapsody on the ukulele during the end credits.
  • http://www.myspace.com/shero_rauf/blog shero
  • Jacob Crim
    This is very exciting news for me. I have been a long time fan of Sacha, since "Da Ali G Show" and he has always amazed me with how well he plays his characters and stays in character. If he brings that same dedication to Freddie Mercury then we very well could see an Oscar nomination, he should have gotten one for Borat but hell...Marty should have won a few times before The Departed...cant win em all.
  • Hattori Hanzo
    Interesting to say the least ... Got tired of Borat in a hurry, but he showed his acting abilities in Sweeny Todd ... He certainly looks like someone Freddie Mercury would have picked to play hm that's for sure.
  • the douche
    I'm not a fan of Cohen, but I think this is a great choice. We all now the guy is talented, and I think this movie will prove how talented he is. I highly doubt it's gonna be a comedy for anyone who's worried about it, especially if the guys from Queen have anything to do with it. They are a great band and I'm looking forward to this.
  • Dave13
    I'm going to go against the crowd and state I think this is horrible. I do not like Cohen and there is nothing I have seen of him that makes me think he'll be able to do a respectful job to one of the greatest rock singers of all time. Queen is one of my all time favorite bands, and if I had a time machine I would use it to go attend Live AID 1985. if this goes through I hope I am pleasently surprised by COhen.
  • tir na nog
    Surreal casting,just perfect.Freddie was a genius and hopefully this film will do him justice.
  • Bernie Ballick
    The first time I saw Queen was at the Tower Theatre in Upper Darby, PA (Philly) and I paid $10 for a ticket. Was while they were promoting the Sheer Heart Attack album. I'm a loyal fan of Almost Queen who does an amazing Queen. I'm not so sure about this, but anything that can remind us of what Queen and Freddy did would hopefully be worth it. Couldn't be worse than when Queen/Paul Rodgers toured and half the show was Paul's music.
  • Clover
    Good job DAVE !#! This ( if possible) could be the worst mis-cast OF ALL TIME since the hack Rogen is now destroying the Green Hornet....excuse me children....BUT NO FUCKING WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • http://www.galaxykid.blogspot.com Johnny Neat
    I'm not even bothered. Bring it. I hope Mercury is respected is all. What a voice.
  • GerggTown
    how do you not mention ali-g when listing baron cohens work? thats where bruno and borat came from! dude was famous in the uk for a looong time
  • http://www.myspace.com/telltaletwins Telltale Twin
    I hope they re-enact the Freddie Mercury - David Bowie naked hotel wrestling scene...
  • http://www.oct8pus.com Google the Oct8pus
    They should ask James Dean Bradfield of Manic Street Preachers to do the singing. He has Mercury like voice and he's still alive! Score!
  • Hey Wowza
    As someone said before, it just needs to be tastefully done and NOT a comedy.

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