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.
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 Ian Brady: Moors murderer announces his support for Ukip and the SNP
Poldark finale episode 8, review: How a costume drama became a Sunday night swoon-fest
Al Pacino admits he was nearly fired from The Godfather and it's still his most 'difficult role'
Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik tops Sunday Times Rich List
The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
Peter Kay’s Car Share, TV review: The perfect vehicle for Kay’s comic talents
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove