Sacha Baron Cohen takes on Freddie Mercury

It has been confirmed that Sacha Baron Cohen is set to play Freddie Mercury in a Queen biopic.

Queen guitarist Brian May revealed that the Ali G star will play the legendary lead singer.

Speaking to the HARDtalk show he said: “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.”

The film will begin shooting next year and will be written by award-winning scriptwriter Peter Morgan, who has worked on various other biographical films in the past, such as The Queen, Frost/Nixon and The Last King Of Scotland.

The main focus of the film will be on the early stage of Queen’s career, particularly Mercury’s part in it. It has been reported that it will take the viewer right up to their famous performance at Live Aid in 1985.

Speaking about the film, Graham King of GK Films who is co-producing it with with Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal’s production company Tribeca, said: “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.”

There is no news yet whether Baron Cohen will do his own singing in the film. He has sung briefly in the past in Tim Burton’s Sweeny Todd. He also has previously dressed up as Mercury for the MTV Europe Music Awards in 2005, where, dressed in Lycra, he said ‘Hello it is me, Freddy Mercury… I joking, he die of AIDS.’

Borat star Baron Cohen certainly has some of the flamboyance of Mercury, but whether he can pull off such a huge character remains to be seen. What do you think, is he a good choice?

For the full interview with Brian May tune into BBC World News on Thursday 23 September and the BBC News Channel on Friday 24 September.

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