The casting of Sacha Baron Cohen as former Queen frontman Freddie Mercury seemed like a natural: In addition to a very strong physical resemblance, Cohen could seemingly match the outsize personality of the late singer.
It’s not going to happen, though. Cohen has walked away from the project after clashing over the creative direction of the movie with the surviving members of Queen.
According to Deadline, the living members of the band have director and script approval over the film and were interested in a more “PG movie about Queen,” while Cohen wanted a warts-and-all portrayal of the larger-than-life Mercury, who died of AIDS-related complications in 1991. Cohen had been developing the movie with writer Peter Morgan (“Frost/Nixon,” “The Queen”) and had met with directors David Fincher and Tom Hooper.
The band, however, has not given a thumbs-up to either Fincher or Hooper and will now have to look for a new star as well.