Sacha Baron Cohen to play Queen star Freddie Mercury
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.
Arts & Ents blogs
Owen Howells is a DJ/producer who grew up in Australia but was born in the UK. He came back to the U...
Fancy seeing a play about serial killers? How about inviting a funeral director into your home for a...
There are a good many moments in the second episode of this psychological thriller that deserve refl...
Liam Gallagher slams Daft Punk: 'I could have written Get Lucky in an hour'
Rocky Horror star Tim Curry 'suffers major stroke'
Archaeologists uncover nearly 5,000 cave paintings in Burgos, Mexico
Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
After 61 films, including The Hangover Part III, Heather Graham admits she still likes to boogie
- 1 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 2 Rocky Horror star Tim Curry 'suffers major stroke'
- 3 Exclusive: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims
- 4 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
- 5 Exclusive: Woolwich killings suspect Michael Adebolajo was inspired by cleric banned from UK after urging followers to behead enemies of Islam
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.