It was announced yesterday that Sacha Baron Cohen had rejoined the long in the making biopic about Freddie Mercury and would be the writer, director and star in the film. This announcement came from longtime Queen manager, Jim Beach during his Artist and Manager Awards speech this week. However, it now seems that it was all just a joke.
Brian May, the guitarist for Queen, said that Beach was simply kidding when he announced Cohen’s participation and he was misquoted by the press. In a recent posting on his website, he explained, “There’s a report … but it doesn’t mention a small joke that Jim threw in during his acceptance speech. He said that, in response to enquiries about the progress on the Freddie feature film, that Sacha Baron Cohen had been re-engaged to write, produce, and direct the film, as well as starring in all four major roles! I’m afraid some folks might have taken it seriously!”
Cohen left the project after being cast for Mercury for years, because of disagreements with the surviving members of Queen about the tone and direction of the film. in 2013 due to disagreements with the surviving members of Queen over the film’s direction and tone. It was reported previously that Ben Whishaw, who played in movies such as Skyfall, Cloud Atlas, and I’m Not There has been a favorite to play Mercury in place of Cohen. It remains unclear what will happen however.