Queen's manager's on stage joke is taken too seriously by some
Andy Morris

09:34 30th March 2015

Following reports over the weekend that Sacha Baron Cohen has rejoined the Freddie Mercury movie biopic, guitarist Brian May has confirmed that this is not the case.

When collecting the Peter Grant Award at the Artist and Manager Awards in London last week, Queen's manager Jim Beach made a comment about Baron Cohen returning to the project.

As reported by Brian May on his website though, what happened next led to some confusion. "[Jim] 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!" 

A long standing project that has been due to start shooting since 2010, Sacha Baron Cohen and Queen reportedly disagreed over how explicit the Queen story would be. Brian May also revealed that the band felt that Baron Cohen's presence would be a Mankini-wearing distraction.

"In the end, we felt that his presence in the movie would be very distracting," the guitarist told Ultimate Classic Rock. "What led us to that conclusion was the last three movies that he’s made – The Dictator, Les Miserables and Hugo – in which he makes outstanding performances, but they’re very much Sacha Baron Cohen performances," May said. "And we thought there has to be no distraction in the Freddie movie. You have to really suspend that disbelief – the man who plays Freddie, you have to really believe is Freddie. And we didn’t that could really happen with Sacha."  

May denied that there had been any falling out over the decision for Baron Cohen to leave the project.

Queen were recently announced as headliners for Rock In Rio, which takes place 18-20 September  and 24-27 September and tickets are on sale now. Queen join previously announced acts Katy Perry, System of a Down, Slipknot, Queens of the Stone Age, Faith No More, Metallica and John Legend. The band are also rumoured to be headlining the Sunday night at Glastonbury.

Queen and Lambert recently completed a 26 date European tour which ends today (27 February) in Sheffield Motorpoint Arena. They have performed to over 300,000 people.

Read our review of the London show here - described by our writer as  'One of the best concerts this writer has ever experienced at the O2'.

  • Daniel Radcliffe - The Harry Potter star is the bookies' favourite to take on the role of Queen frontman, Freddie Mercury (apparently he's the 'right height'). Wizard or not, whether he could belt out 'A Kind Of Magic' remains to be seen.

  • Michael Sheen - Praised for his skills in interpreting other well-known personalities, such as Tony Blair and David Forst, Sheen could easily master the ways of Freddie Mercury (there's even a slight resemblance). But can he sing?

  • Andy Serkis - He has a wealth of acting experience behind him and is a firm favourite to take the role. Could he perhaps be a little too old though?

  • Ewan McGregor - He's already proven he's got some pipes on him after his role in Moulin Rouge, but with four different projects this year does he really have time to take on the biopic as well? Maybe, he is a Jedi.

  • Aaron Johnson - He played John Lennon in the film, Nowhere Boy, so is used to taking on the role of legendary musicians. Plus, he proved in Kick Ass that he can pull off Lycra, so Freddie's outfits wouldn't be too much of an issue.

  • Matt Smith - 'The Doctor' is used to playing quite an eclectic and flamboyant character, so taking on the personality of Freddie Mercury could be an easy task for him. That said, his vocal abilities may not be up to scratch.

  • Russell Brand - He's got experience in playing rockstars in the films Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him To The Greek, plus he isn't afraid of wearing a little make up. Also on a more personal level, he understands the media pressure in regards to his sex life - something that plagued Mercury throughout the years.

  • Dominic Cooper - In 2010's rom-com Tamara Drewe, Cooper played an eye-liner wearing, egotistical frontman and also let his voice shine in the film adaptation of Mamma Mia - all things that could help in becoming Freddie Mercury.

  • Eddie Redmayne - Not the most obvious or famous out of all the choices, but after his impressive performance in the Les Miserable film, where he showed of his vocal talent, he could be one of the best suitors in regards to singing.

  • Darius Danesh - Believe it or not, the ex-Pop Idol star turned Platinum-selling artist is actually on the bookies list of 100/1. In all seriousness, he can sing and if you stick a moustache on him he won't look far off the real thing.


Photo: Wenn