Band distance themselves from struggling movie
Michael Baggs

08:35 24th September 2013

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Legendary rockers Queen are believed to have rejected the casting of Ali G actor Sacha Baron Cohen as Freddie Mercury because they believed he was too funny to star as the music icon.

It had previously been reported that Cohen had departed the movie due to a disagreement with the 'We Will Rock You' band, and now the band's drummer, Roger Taylor has spoken of the bands misgivings at the casting of the comedian.

"We felt Sacha probably wasn't right. We didn't want it to be a joke. We want people to be moved," Taylor tells The Sun newspaper. He also added that the biopic was now unlikey to happen at all, revealing that the band were now distancing themselves from the project.

"I thought the music business was slow, but this has been like swimming in treacle," he added. "We need to step back now."

After Cohen left the planned movie, it was reported that Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe was set to play Mercury by tabloid sources. “Daniel has been told the part is his if he wants it," a source told The Daily Star. "Despite his youth, Daniel impressed movie bosses with his portrayal of gay poet Allen Ginsburg in this year’s movie Kill Your Darlings."

They added:  "Plus, he’s closer in height to Freddie than Sacha, who’s much taller. Daniel can really sing, too."

Below: inspired by Freddie Mercury - 13 artists we'd be without

  • Karen O: "Well, Freddie Mercury is a really huge rock star in my head. I've always thought he was just so tough and such an amazing entertainer, really a contradiction in many ways as well. So he was incredible."

  • Katy Perry: "Freddie Mercury was - and remains - my biggest influence. The combination of his sarcastic approach to writing lyrics and his 'I don't give a fuck' attitude really inspired my music.”

  • Cee-Lo Green: "The music industry is all about art versus product. What's left to do, but implode? Please, at some point in the day, play 'Bohemian Rhapsody' to the kids. Make them listen. Show them the possibilities."

  • Dave Grohl: "Every band should study Queen at Live Aid. I consider Freddie Mercury the greatest frontman of all time. You'd imagine that Freddie was more than human, but you know how he controlled Wembley Stadium at Live Aid in 1985? He stood up there and did his vocal warm ups with the audience. Something that intimate, where they realize, 'Oh yeah, he's just a fucking dude."

  • Lady Gaga: "I adored Freddie Mercury and Queen had a hit called 'Radio Gaga'. That's why I love the name. Freddie was unique - one of the biggest personalities in the whole of pop music. He was not only a singer but also a fantastic performer, a man of the theatre and someone who constantly transformed himself. In short: a genius."

  • Twin Atlantic: "The most influential artist of the past 25 years is Queen's Freddie Mercury."

  • Lupe Fiasco: "I have an understanding of Queen and the way Freddie Mercury did his harmonies."

  • Kurt Cobain: "I used to take a nap in the van and listen to Queen. Over and over again and drain the battery on the van. Then we'd be stuck. That happened a few times. We'd be stuck with a dead battery because I'd listened to Queen too much."

  • Adam Lambert: "Freddie's voice has so much texture to it. It’s super sexy. He kind of grabs at everything, he squeezes it. He was completely over the top in the best possible way."

  • Wiz Kalifa: "I jumped up in the air and landed on my knees and made my back touch the ground, it looked awesome, like some Freddie Mercury shit."

  • David Bowie: "Of all the more theatrical performers, Freddie took it further than the rest. He took it over the edge. And of course I always admire a man who wears tights!"

  • Matt Bellamy: "The best band in the world is Queen, definitely."

  • Brandon Flowers: "You think of Freddie Mercury onstage in a tank top and a pair of jeans, and he was free to perform. Had he been confined to a three-piece suit, he wouldn't have been the performer that he was."

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