Brian May Denies Sacha Baron Cohen's Return to Queen Biopic

Brian May Denies Sacha Baron Cohen's Return to Queen Biopic
biopic on legendary Queen frontman Freddie Mercury has been in talks for half a decade. Comedic character Sacha Baron Cohen, best known for characters like Ali G and Borat, was initially cast in the role, but left the project when he butted heads with producers over certain aspects of the film. While his replacement was reported last year, it looks like he's back on board with the film — and with a much larger role.

Appearing at the Artist and Manager Awards, Queen manager Jim Beach dropped some nuggets of news on the crowd during a speech. "You have probably followed the saga of the famous Queen-Freddie Mercury biopic which has been developing in Hollywood for the last seven years," he said. "An important breakthrough is that we have now managed to persuade Sacha Baron Cohen to write, produce and direct this movie, and he has also agreed to star."

While it's unclear exactly when the film will start production, it'll surely have a great deal of focus with Cohen working in this many roles.

Hopefully things aren't too awkward with the members of Queen, either. In an interview with Mojo in 2013, Queen drummer Roger Taylor said, "We felt Sacha probably wasn't right in the end. We didn't want it to be a joke. We want people to be moved."

UPDATE: Unfortunately, the news was too good to be true. In a post on his website, Queen's Brian May says Beach was simply joking. He writes, "There's a report … but it doesn't mention a small joke that Jim threw in during his acceptance speech. He said that, in response to enquiries about the progress on the Freddie feature film, that Sacha Baron Cohen had been re-engaged to write, produce, and direct the film, as well as starring in all four major roles! I'm afraid some folks might have taken it seriously!"

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