[dropcap]A[/dropcap] few years ago came the news that sent many a Queen fan slightly mad, namely that a Freddie Mercury biopic was to be released in 2014. With the project in the pipeline for what seemed like a generation, it had been decided that the lead role was to be played by Sacha Baron Cohen – or so we thought.
It now turns out that the man behind Ali G In Da House has jumped ship due to ‘creative differences’, most notably with the two active remaining band members Brian May and Roger Taylor. It is they who have the casting vote on the director, scriptwriters, the whole lot, so differences of opinion have become somewhat inevitable.
These differences boil down to a couple of factors, the first being that Baron Cohen was keen to get David Fincher in the director’s seat; not so Messrs Taylor and May. Secondly, it was the Borat star’s vision that this should be a raw, X-rated portrayal, exploring the singer’s sexuality and hedonistic lifestyle. For the band, the music has always come first and they were after a more family-orientated affair.
So what now for this turbulent project? The simple answer is nothing until the major players get their act together and start making their minds up. There is still the option of Johnny Depp, a name that was strongly linked to the film for a long time, and one that would sprinkle an extra-large helping of stardust over proceedings.
It will now take a kind of magic for the film to be finished for 2014. In the meantime, I suggest you go and catch a little musical called We Will Rock You – apparently it’s quite a fun way to spend a Saturday night!