Dominic Cooper Linked With Freddie Mercury

Might he replace Sacha Baron Cohen behind the moustache?

In what isn't the craziest idea we've heard today, the team behind the long-mooted Freddie Mercury biopic are reputedly sizing up Dominic Cooper for those tighty whiteys and trademark Aviators.

According to Latino Review, Cooper is the front-runner to play the star in a production that has had already its share of wrinkles but is powering towards the screen regardless. Sacha Baron Cohen was first choice, but exited the project after a disagreement over the film's approach to its subject. He wanted a warts-and-all story of a man who was partial to a party or two (or a hundred) that was at odds with the surviving Queen members' desire for a more restrained treatment.

The surviving members of Queen own the rights to the songs, so exit Baron Cohen stage left. Daniel Radcliffe, linked with the role by the tabloid Big Rumour Randomiser, swiftly denied any involvement or interest, leaving it open for another lucky actor. Cooper, it seems, may just be that guy.

In his favour, Cooper can sing, he's got charisma and his Tamara Drewe turn showed that he can give terrific rock star. His Uday Hussein in The Devil's Double, all bling and lustrously bushy moustache, seemed virtually modelled on Mercury. Someone give this man the job, we're saying.

Peter Morgan, who is quietly becoming the definitive screenwriter for biopics, has been working on the Queen-approved script. While even Mercury would have found the idea of a PG-rated film about himself a little far-fetched, the project has undeniable pedigree. It's set up at Sony Pictures, with Graham King involved under his GK Films marque and Robert De Niro also producing.