Sacha Baron Cohen Departs Freddie Mercury Biopic

There was a disagreement about the tone

Sacha Baron Cohen

Very few people would describe Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury’s private life as PG-rated. But apparently the surviving members of the group want to see a little less raw reality in the story behind the man, as they are disagreeing with attached leading man Sacha Baron Cohen over the tone of the movie. The end result? Cohen has walked away from the film.

Cohen had been hammering out a deal to play Mercury in a warts ‘n’ all biopic that Peter Morgan was writing and directors such as David Fincher and Les Misérables’ Tom Hooper had considered.

Sony, the film's developer, has hit a wall with Brian May and the rest of Queen, who have script and director approval on the film via the power of their song rights. No Queen tracks, no biopic. And they'd rather see a PG-rated story on screen.

Trouble is, Cohen seemed like the perfect person to play Freddie, so unless someone just as suitable can be found for the gig, this one might quietly fade away. Another one bites the dust? It's too early to tell, but this is not a good development.