Sacha Baron Cohen to play Queen star Freddie Mercury
Friday 17 September 2010
Borat creator Sacha Baron Cohen is to swap moustaches for his latest role - after signing up to play late Queen star Freddie Mercury.
The comic will play the flamboyant rock frontman in a biopic, co-produced by Robert De Niro.
Peter Morgan - who wrote Frost/Nixon and The Queen - is scripting the untitled drama, which will focus on the years leading up to Queen's appearance at 1985's Live Aid concert.
Queen guitarist Brian May said the choice of lead may surprise many.
"We have Sacha Baron Cohen, which will probably be a shock to a lot of people, but he's been talking with us for a long time," he said in an interview with BBC World News' HardTalk.
"He's been in on this project since we started talking about it seriously with Peter Morgan a couple of years ago."
In the interview to be screened next Thursday, he added: "I think we'll try and keep ourselves out of it as much as we can."
Graham King, whose GK Films is developing the film with De Niro's Tribeca Productions, said: "Queen is one of the greatest rock bands of all time, and a music brand all unto itself - Freddie Mercury was an awe-inspiring performer, so with Sacha in the starring role, coupled with Peter's screenplay and the support of Queen, we have the perfect combination to tell the real story behind their success."
Production will begin next year.
Sacha - who has two children with wife Isla Fisher - will next be seen in Martin Scorsese's Hugo Cabret.
He is currently writing and planning to star in an untitled film for Paramount Pictures.
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