The Freddie Mercury biopic has been mired in controversy since its inception. The film had trouble getting greenlit, then had issues finding a director. One thing the project did have going for it was Sacha Baron Cohen, who was set to star as the Mercury. Well recently we found out that Cohen had departed the project due to creative issues between him, and the rest of the band Queen, on what direction the story should go. Cohen did an interview criticizing the band mates of the late singer for their short sightedness regarding movie production. Cohen spoke of the all too common biopic issue of the realism involved, and will they touch on some of the less than stellar characteristics of the character involved. He mentioned that the band would not allow very much negative depiction, and wanted a more sugary version. Also Cohen mentioned that the band had declined the initial script because they wanted the film to show Mercury’s passing in the middle and then carry on the rest of the film telling the story of how the band carried on without their famous frontman. While Cohen made some chastising remarks out of frustration, he did mention that the band members are all insanely talented musicians and good people, but they are simply not good film producers.
Well apparently Guitarist Brian May was not happy about the comments that Cohen had made and wanted to set the record straight by shedding light on his and the rest of the bands experience. May, when speaking with The Daily Mail, said the following:
“We had some nice times with Sacha kicking around ideas but he went off and told untruths about what happened. Why would he go away and say that we didn’t want to make a gritty film? Are we the kind of people who have ever ducked from the truth? I don’t think so.”
When Cohen departed the producers began looking for another lead, and it looks like they had settled on Spectre’s Ben Whishaw, and on top of that May criticized Cohen, by saying he may not have been the right fit anyway due to his latest film Brothers Grimsby by saying:
“We decided he wasn’t right for the role for very good reasons, which will become apparent if you watch what he’s done recently. It’s obvious that it wasn’t going to work, him playing Freddie. It wouldn’t suspend your disbelief.”
This biopic is seemingly in development hell at this point, as it has not been slated for any release and does not have any real start date for principle photography, and also has not nailed down a director as of yet, as Dexter Fletcher departed the project in 2014.
So what do you guys think of the comments from Cohen and May? Do you want to see a Freddie Mercury biopic? Do you think Cohen would have been a good fit? Drop a comment and let us know what you think.