There’s been a lot of talk over the years about Sacha Baron Cohen playing Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in a planned biopic penned by Peter Morgan (The Queen), but according to Variety, Morgan may be reuniting with “Queen” helmer Stephen Frears for the biopic which is moving forward with GK Films’ Graham King producing. There are other directors still in talks and negotiations haven’t begun to acquire Frears’ services just yet.
The film will cover the formative years of the rock band Queen, leading up to their appearance at Live Aid in 1985. Mercury died just six years later from complications with AIDS, although that won’t be the focus of the film.
It’s being produced by King with Tim Headington, who produced Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, also co-starring Cohen, in partnership with Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal’s Tribeca Productions and Queen Films, and they’ve already landed the rights to all of Queen’s biggest hits, the first time the band has allowed their songs to be used in a movie about the band. Morgan wrote the screenplay along with Stephen J. Rivele and Christopher Wilkinson (Ali).
Frears is currently directing “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight” for HBO and has a few other films he’s attached to including a remake of The Bengali Detective. Sacha Baron Cohen can next be seen in The Dictator, opening next Wednesday.