Sacha Baron Cohen To Play Freddie Mercury
After years of rumors that Johnny Depp was to portray Freddie Mercury (legendary lead singer of Queen) in a movie based on the most tumultuous years of his life, the role has gone to funnyman Sacha Baron Cohen.
The film will focus on the British rock group’s glory years, culminating in their historic 1985 Live Aid set at London’s Wembley Stadium. It will center on Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar), who co-founded Queen in 1971 with guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor and bass guitarist John Deacon.
According to ABC News:
The project has the cooperation of Mercury’s estate and the three surviving members of Queen, a spokeswoman for GK Films says.
Guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor will oversee the musical content of the film, which will feature both original Queen music and Mercury solo music.
No word yet as to whether Baron Cohen, star of comedy classics Borat and Bruno, will belt out hits like “Another One Bites the Dust,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Are the Champions” and “We Will Rock You” in his own voice or dubbed over Mercury’s own (like Jennifer Lopez did in Selena).
After performing at Live Aid (the concert benefiting the Ethiopian famine) for an estimated global audience of two billion people, Mercury continued to tour with Queen till his health began deteriorating from a secret battle with AIDS. In 1991, a day after he finally admitted he was suffering from the disease, he died at the age of 45. He chose to never publicly discuss any details of his private life, including his sexual orientation.
The movie is set to start shooting early next year and is being produced by GK Films, Robert De Niro‘s Tribeca Productions and Queen Films.
Photo: ABC News