We’ve been hearing about the upcoming Freddie Mercury biopic since 2010 and with Sasha Baron Cohen attached to star as the enigmatic, vivacious Mercury, there were plenty of reasons to be excited. But three years ago, Baron Cohen announced that he was no longer attached to the buzzworthy project, without much explanation. Yesterday, in a new interview with Howard Stern, he finally broke his silence.
The remaining Queen members still hold the rights to the story, and they envision a harmless, PG-version of the frontman’s life, while Baron Cohen sought to create a gritty, unfiltered Rated R version. Years of creative differences passed with Baron Cohen and Queen still not seeing eye to eye, so the Borat star pulled out.
“The problem is — and I think it’s with any biopic, and I fully understand why Queen wanted to do this — if you’re in control of your rights and your life story, why wouldn’t you depict yourself as great as possible?” Baron Cohen said.
Not only was the tone and rating an issue, but Queen members wanted Mercury to pass in the middle of the movie and have the remainder of the film focus on how they forged on together after their devastating loss. (What a snooze. Sorry, Queen, but Freddie Mercury is the story there.)
Adding more salt to the wound of what could have been, Baron Cohen even tapped Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon) to pen the script while David Fincher and Tom Hooper both expressed interest in directing.
It’s such a shame. This movie could have been epic, but now, it’s bound to be the Queen/Mercury biopic that we do NOT need to see. How on earth can Queen produce a movie about sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll without the….uh….sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll!? Mercury was such a colorful character, full of life, love, energy and talent. To censor or downplay any of his outrageous antics does the man and the film a huge disservice.
“The remaining members are still great musicians,” Baron Cohen added. “Brian May is an amazing musician; he wrote half their stuff. But he’s not a great movie producer.”
Check out part of the Stern interview here:
From The Howard Stern Show (03-08-16) – Sacha Baron Cohen’s Failed Freddie Mercury Biopic For more Howard Stern Show: Website – www.howardstern.com Twitter – www.twitter.com/sternshow Instagram – www.instagram/sternshow Facebook – www.facebook.com/thehowardsternshow