Sacha Baron Cohen (Da Ali G Show, Borat, Les Misérables ) has been attached to play the frontman of the band Queen, Freddie Mercury, for a couple of years now. Deadline reports that the Sony Pictures/GK Films project (produced by Graham King, Tim Headington, Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Queen Films) looks to add Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Misérables) as director, though no formal offer has been made. The script is by Peter Morgan (The Last King Of Scotland, The Queen, Frost/Nixon).
They need to make an offer soon while Hooper is still a free agent, because right now, everybody wants him to front their movie. Hooper’s last two films had a combined budget of $76 million and they have grossed (at the box office) $837 million worldwide.
Excerpt from Freddie Mercury’s bio on the band Queen’s official website:
“EMI Records and Elektra Records signed the band and in 1973 their debut album ‘Queen’ was released and hailed as one of the most exciting developments ever in rock music.
The immortal operatically styled single ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was released in 1975 and proceeded to the top of the UK charts for 9 weeks. A song that was nearly never released due to its length and unusual style but which Freddie insisted would be played became the instantly recognisable hit. By this time Freddie’s unique talents were becoming clear, a voice with a remarkable range and a stage presence that gave Queen its colourful, unpredictable and flamboyant personality.”
One good thing that the producers have going for them is that Hooper recently directed the intended star of the “Freddie Mercury” film in Les Misérables.
If you look at Hooper’s last two films, you’ll see why Sony Pictures and GK Films need to get Hooper to sign on the line that is dotted, immediately.
In 2010, Hooper directed Colin Firth in The King’s Speech, a role for which Firth won an Oscar.
This past year, Hooper directed Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman in the musical Les Misérables, which resulted in an Oscar win for Hathaway and a nomination for Jackman. If Lincoln had been released a year earlier or a year later, Jackman would have won.
Imagine now, what would happen if Hooper directed Sacha Baron Cohen in the role of Freddie Mercury…A movie that demands great acting and involves a musical element…Hooper must direct this film.
Great Drama+Musical = The perfect Freddie Mercury biopic.
Not much is known about the project besides Cohen being in the lead role.
SOURCE: Deadline, Box Office Mojo, Queen Official Website (Image, bio)