Cheeky British actor and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen was set to play Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in a biopic on the singer to be released next year. Yesterday (July 22) Deadline reported that the actor has since dropped out of the biopic due to “creative differences” with the surviving members of Queen.
The Editor in Chief of Deadline writes: “I’ve just learned he’s now pulled out. The reason is that 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 gifted gay singer.”
According to Deadline, Cohen brought in Peter Morgan (The Deal, The Queen), David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Social Network) and Tom Hooper (Les Miserables, The King’s Speech) to help write and direct the film and assist in development.
Cohen had been linked to the biopic since 2010 and Queen guitarist Brian May confirmed last October on his personal blog that Cohen was set to portray the late Queen singer, also stating that “the film should be ready for release early in 2014.”
The production will continue for the yet untitled biopic as producers, who include Robert De Niro, look for another actor to play Mercury.