It looks like Sacha Baron Cohen will be playing it straight(ish) in the newly confirmed Freddie Mercury biopic, set for a late 2011 start date and a 2012 release. Baron has long expressed interested in playing the Queen frontman, and yesterday, guitarist Brian May, who has long been involved with the project, confirmed that the development is moving along nicely, with the script having already gone through one draft from screenwriter Peter Morgan.
The Freddie Mercury bio is just one of two Queen films in pre-development. The other is We Will Rock You, a “jukebox musical” featuring the songs of Queen. Sounds like Cohen would be a welcome addition to that project as well, albeit in a more Bruno/Borat fashion.
Cohen is widely considered to be an inspired choice both in terms of appearance, and a penchant for showmanship. The role of Freddie Mercury will require a particularly fearless actor, and Cohen has shown through his groundbreaking comedy that he fits the bill. Further, Freddie Mercury costumes will seem downright modest when compared to the garb Cohen often finds himself wearing.
Despite Mercury being such a huge star in his era, later generations know very little of the influential rocker/showman. Consequently, this film could be viewed as essential viewing to anyone with a fondness for pop music over the past 30 years, which, let’s face it, is pretty much everyone. (/Film)