We know that Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen will portray Freddie Mercury in an upcoming biopic on the Queen singer. Now screenwriter Peter Morgan, who will pen the biopic, has revealed some more details about the film. It will focus on Mercury’s life, from the early days of Queen to the band’s legendary performance at Wembley Stadium for Live Aid in 1985. The movie will not examine Mercury’s final years and his AIDS-related death in 1991. “I didn’t want to write an AIDS movie, to be honest with you,” Morgan told Cinema Blend. “I just looked at the period– It’s sort of where he rejects [the other members of Queen] and comes back to them. It’s sort of like a family movie. It’s sort of like ‘I hate my family, I want to be independent, and then I come back.’”
“Sacha was the one who asked me to write it. He was the guy who rang me up,” said Morgan, whose scripts for Frost/Nixon and The Queen have been nominated for Academy Awards. Producer Graham King, whose GK Films is making the new film as well as >the big screen version of Jersey Boys , recently said this to Rolling Stone: “Who doesn’t know Freddie Mercury, and who’s not going to want to know about his life? He kept his life very private. I think Peter Morgan is going to write an amazing script. What an amazing guy [Mercury was], what an amazing voice he had. Sasha fits the bill so right, all the ingredients are there.” Production on the film will begin in 2011.
Sacha Baron Cohen is just not seeing eye to eye with the remaining members of Queen who have script and director approval over that biopic on iconic lead singer Freddie Mercury. That film had Cohen circling the role but 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. Given the astonishing physical resemblance, it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing Freddie but Sacha. Cohen had brought in Peter Morgan to write and various directors including David Fincher and Tom Hooper to develop the project for himself. However, none were approved by the band. Film is set at Sony Pictures and GK Films and Cohen has long been attached to play Mercury. But because of the dispute over ‘creative differences’ no formal offer could go out to Hooper who’d just worked with Sacha on Best Picture Oscar nominee Les Miserables. Graham King and Tim Headington are producing with Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal and Queen Films.