SACHA BARON COHEN PLAYING FREDDY MERCURY? SOUNDS GOOD TO ME!
Deadline Hollywood has broken the story that Sacha Baron Cohen — a.k.a. “Ali G,” “Borat,” “Bruno,” etc. — is going to play Freddie Mercury in a movie about Queen. Peter Morgan, who was nominated for an Oscar for writing another Queen movie, and is also responsible for the scripts for Frost/Nixon and The Last King of Scotland (among others), is penning the screenplay.
So while no director is yet attached, this all strikes me as good news. I don’t think Peter Morgan is the cat’s pajamas the way some people do, but he’s certainly a talented writer. And I can’t think of better casting for Freddy Mercury than Cohen — sure, the roles he’s played up ’til now have been primarily comedic, but you can’t say that the fella doesn’t give an immersive performance. I think he could really hit the ball out of the park playing the legendary Queen vocalist.
Slightly more troubling, if understandable, is the fact that the surviving members of Queen are involved as producers on the project. This kind of thing bothers me because while I’m sure it’s great to have a first-hand eyewitness to the events in question working on your film, and it most certainly makes securing the music rights a breeze, it can lead to sugar coating some of the facts. ‘Cause let’s be real, no one really wants to come off on film as a total dick.
But I guess we’ll have to wait and see. I really think this movie could end up being good, which would be a nice change of pace for rock biopics.