Queen Explain Sacha Baron Cohen’s Exit From Biopic: “We Didn’t Want It To Be A Joke”

Surviving Queen members Roger Taylor and Brian May have gone public on the reasons why Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen walked off the upcoming Freddie Mercury biopic. Baron Cohen was slated to star in the film and reportedly left after Queen members said they didn’t want the film “to be a joke.”

Initial reports indicated that Baron Cohen left the picture after a dispute with Queen members, the producers of the project, who wanted a more family-friendly film that dealt with the band’s performance at Live Aid. Baron Cohen instead was looking to focus on the latter part of Mercury’s life, in particular the singer’s death from AIDS.

Queen drummer Roger Taylor has revealed to the NME that this wasn’t the case, saying “We felt Sacha probably wasn’t right in the end. We didn’t want it to be a joke. We want people to be moved.” Screenwriter Peter Morgan left the project after Baron Cohen’s exit, telling the BBC that the film was “probably not going to happen.”

Fuelling reports that the film wasn’t going ahead, earlier this month Taylor bemoaned the speed with which the project was progressing, saying “I thought the music business was slow, but this has been like swimming in treacle.” Earlier this month, Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe denied rumours that he was going to star as Mercury.

(Via The Guardian)

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