It seems like a stroke of genius casting Sacha Baron Cohen as the charismatic Queen, Freddie Mercury, in the untitled biopic currently in development. Writer Peter Morgan (“The Last King of Scotland,” “Frost/Nixon”), who’s still working his way through the first draft of the script, revealed to Cinemablend that the whole thing was Cohen’s idea.
“Sacha was the one who asked me to write it. He was the guy who rang me up,” Morgan explained about how the project was initiated. He went on to discuss the film’s time frame and how the film will focus more on the music and less on the personal tragedy. “I didn’t want to write an AIDS movie, to be honest with you,” Morgan admitted. “And then, I just looked the period– It’s sort of where he rejects [the other members of Queen] and comes back to them.”
One can easily imagine a young Sacha Baron Cohen in his Underoos imitating Freddie Mercury and my only concern is believing him — taking him seriously for the length of a feature. But although the subject matter they’re tackling is not too dire or mired in the AIDS era, it won’t be all fun and “Flash Gordon” either.
“I’m not sure how much they’ll like what I write,” Morgan said of the surviving Queen members, who are all involved as producers. “I think they’ll recognize the truth in it, but it’s a series of painful memories for them. I’m essentially writing about the most painful time in the band’s history.”
No word on whether Cohen will be belting out “We Will Rock You” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” himself. Mercury was a mind blowing vocalist so no shame if Cohen has to lip-sync.