Friday, September 17, 2010

Sacha Baron Cohen to play Queen's Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury’s extraordinary life finally gets the big screen treatment.

Sacha Baron Cohen – famous for playing “Borat,” “Bruno” and other characters, steps into music’s biggest shoes to play the legendary Queen frontman.

Producer Graham King said shooting will begin next year; King’s GK Films is partnering on the project with Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal's Tribeca Productions, and Queen manager Jim Beach. Tribeca are also co-producers of the theatrical musical “We Will Rock You,” based on the music of Queen.

The untitled film is being written by Peter Morgan, the British writer behind "The Queen" and "The Last King of Scotland"; no director has been announced yet.

The project has the cooperation of Mercury's estate and the three surviving members of Queen, a spokeswoman for GK Films said. Guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor will oversee the musical content of the film, which will feature both original Queen music and Mercury solo music.

The Mercury film will reportedly focus on 1980s-era Queen, leading up to the band’s appearance at Live Aid in the summer of ’85 – considered one of the greatest rock performances in history.

One of rock’s all-time greatest voices and frontmen, Mercury passed away from complications arising from AIDS in 1991.

“Queen is one of the greatest rock bands of all time, and a music brand all unto itself,” King 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.”

Radio Radio Ga Ga - Queen: Greatest Hits I & II

Queen – Radio Ga Ga
Live Aid - Wembley Stadium, London – July 13, 1985