Music Feeds reported back in July on the turbulence inside the Freddie Mercury biopic camp, with Sacha Baron Cohen, slated to play the late arena rock great, walking off the film. Reports have now come through that a new star has been selected to play Mercury, 24-year-old Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe.
Cohen reportedly left the project after butting heads with members of Queen, who have script and director approval, and wanted a more PG film, focusing on the period up until the band’s 1985 Live Aid performance. Cohen instead wished for a grittier focus on the years leading up to the singer’s death. The producers think they may have found their milquetoast Freddie in the former Harry Potter.
The Daily Star is reporting that the young actor need only agree to the role, saying “Daniel has been told the part is his if he wants it. Despite his youth, Daniel impressed movie bosses with his portrayal of gay poet Allen Ginsburg in this year’s movie Kill Your Darlings. Plus, he’s closer in height to Freddie than Sacha, who’s much taller. Daniel can really sing, too.”
Speculation has already begun on whether Radcliffe has the necessary physicality to convincingly pull off a portrayal of the Queen frontman. There are also conflicting reports on whether the film will actually happen at all, with screenwriter Peter Morgan, who’d been attached to pen the biopic’s screenplay, claiming earlier this month that the project is “probably not going to happen.”
However, with the announcement of Radcliffe as potential star and producer Graham King assuring fans that the project is “still very much alive,” we might get to see a 5ft. 5, 24-year-old Freddie Mercury.