“Borat” and “Bruno” star Sacha Baron Cohen will play Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in an untitled drama focusing on his glory days, reports Reuters. The film is being written by Peter Morgan (The Queen, The Last King of Scotland). No director is attached yet.
Shooting will begin next year, said producer Graham King, whose GK Films is partnering on the project with Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal’s Tribeca Productions, and Queen manager Jim Beach.
The project has the cooperation of Mercury’s estate and the three surviving members of Queen. Guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor will oversee the musical content of the film, which will feature both original Queen music and Mercury solo music.
The film will focus on a period of a few years leading up to what was arguably Queen’s greatest moment: its performance at the Live Aid charity concert in 1985, when the band mesmerized London’s Wembley Stadium and a worldwide TV audience with such hits as “We Will Rock You” and “Radio Ga Ga.”
The band continued touring and recording even as Mercury’s health deteriorated. A day after finally admitting he had AIDS, Mercury succumbed to the disease in 1991, at age 45.