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He is the champion! Sacha Baron Cohen to play Freddie Mercury

09.16.2010

This is the first bit of news from this project and I'm already on-board.

Sacha Baron Cohen has closed the deal to play Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in a film focused on the band’s formative years, leading up to Queen’s appearance at Live Aid in 1985.

Peter Morgan (THE QUEEN, FROST/NIXON) is currently working on a script for the film. His most recent script HEREAFTER directed by Clint Eastwood premiered last Sunday at the Toronto International Film Festival. No director has been chosen for the project.

A rights package has been set that includes these songs from Queen: Bohemian Rhapsody, We Will Rock You, We Are the Champions, Another One Bites The Dust, and You’re My Best Friend. There's no word yet on whether or not Baron Cohen will display his vocal talents for the role. He used his pipes for SWEENEY TODD, but can he even touch Mercury's devastatingly amazing range? I'm sure we will hear it in some parts of the film if they do give Baron Cohen the go.

Sadly as most of you already know, Mercury passed away on November 24, 1991 from AIDS complications. Deadline says that Mercury's last days will not be the subject of the film.

The untitled film will be financed by GK Films (THE TOWN, THE RUM DIARY, EDGE OF DARKNESS) partners Graham King and Tim Headington, who'll produce in partnership with Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal’s Tribeca Productions, and Queen Films. King confirmed the Queen deal, “Queen is one of the greatest rock bands of all time, and a music brand all unto itself. Freddie Mercury was an awe-inspiring performer, so with Sacha in the starring role coupled with Peter’s screenplay and the support of Queen, we have the perfect combination to tell the real story behind their success.”

Extra Tidbit: A few birthdays ago, my Dad got me the best present ever: Queen Live Killers on vinyl. It was his favorite album and Mercury just tears through each and every song like it's nothing. Check it out if you are a fan of the band.
Source: Deadline

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+0
7:00PM on 09/18/2010
Hope he knocks it out of the park!
Hope he knocks it out of the park!
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7:19PM on 09/17/2010

Looks promising

I love SBC with all of his personas he brings to the silver screen. Also, he does have an uncanny resembelence to FM.
I love SBC with all of his personas he brings to the silver screen. Also, he does have an uncanny resembelence to FM.
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5:47PM on 09/17/2010
I have to be honest. I loved Borat, I liked him in Talledaga Nights, but I don't know if I am totally sold on him as a dramatic actor. If he can pull it off, kudos. But he is yet to show me he has the acting chopps to play a brilliant front-man dying from AIDS who never really felt truly loved. I hope he can do it, and not ruin the story of such a special performer. That being said, I wasn't sold on Jamie Foxx for Ray, and I liked that film. Everybody has sort of forgotten where Foxx got
I have to be honest. I loved Borat, I liked him in Talledaga Nights, but I don't know if I am totally sold on him as a dramatic actor. If he can pull it off, kudos. But he is yet to show me he has the acting chopps to play a brilliant front-man dying from AIDS who never really felt truly loved. I hope he can do it, and not ruin the story of such a special performer. That being said, I wasn't sold on Jamie Foxx for Ray, and I liked that film. Everybody has sort of forgotten where Foxx got his start. However, if there are any jokes, or if while doing press for this he jokes around at all about AIDS, HIV, or Homosexuality, that won't be cool and he will ruin his career completely if he does that. Too many people respect Freddie and his body of work.
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5:45PM on 09/17/2010
I have to be honest. I loved Borat, I liked him in Talledaga Nights, but I don't know if I am totally sold on him as a dramatic actor. If he can pull it off, kudos. But he is yet to show me he has the acting chopps to play a brilliant front-man dying from AIDS who never really felt truly loved. I hope he can do it, and not ruin the story of such a special performer. That being said, I wasn't sold on Jamie Foxx for Ray, and I liked that film. Everybody has sort of forgotten where Foxx got
I have to be honest. I loved Borat, I liked him in Talledaga Nights, but I don't know if I am totally sold on him as a dramatic actor. If he can pull it off, kudos. But he is yet to show me he has the acting chopps to play a brilliant front-man dying from AIDS who never really felt truly loved. I hope he can do it, and not ruin the story of such a special performer. That being said, I wasn't sold on Jamie Foxx for Ray, and I liked that film. Everybody has sort of forgotten where Foxx got his start. However, if there are any jokes, or if while doing press for this he jokes around at all about AIDS, HIV, or Homosexuality, that won't be cool and he will ruin his career completely if he does that. Too many people respect Freddie and his body of work.
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1:52PM on 09/17/2010

Astonished!!

I am astonished and flabbergasted that so many people, many claiming to be fans of Queen, are in support of this. Cohen can be annoying as hell, and while he does look like him, I don't think he's talented enough to bring the goods. Being a one-note wonder, "Borat" was good, but I've hated him in everything else, even if I liked the movie, isn't enough. Plus, does anyone else see the hypocrisy here? Cohen played one of the most offensive (in a bad way), stereotypical, and dumb homosexual
I am astonished and flabbergasted that so many people, many claiming to be fans of Queen, are in support of this. Cohen can be annoying as hell, and while he does look like him, I don't think he's talented enough to bring the goods. Being a one-note wonder, "Borat" was good, but I've hated him in everything else, even if I liked the movie, isn't enough. Plus, does anyone else see the hypocrisy here? Cohen played one of the most offensive (in a bad way), stereotypical, and dumb homosexual characters to come along, will, maybe ever. And this, this is the guy we want to be our Mercury?

Fuck you all for agreeing with this!
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3:28PM on 09/17/2010
WAAAAAHHH! CRY SOME MORE!
WAAAAAHHH! CRY SOME MORE!
11:53AM on 09/17/2010

I think he'll do good....

....but I think Justin Kirk from "Weeds" would be THE Freddie for the big screen.
[link]
....but I think Justin Kirk from "Weeds" would be THE Freddie for the big screen.
[link]
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+0
4:30AM on 09/17/2010
Baron Cohen is a talented guy. I have no doubt that he has the range and maturity to pull it off and the look is undeniable.

I understand a lot of the hesitation fans may have but this is the kind of casting and hopefully the kind of project that could be incredible. Queen was and always will be one of a kind. Hopefully a movie about them will be a great experience as well.
Baron Cohen is a talented guy. I have no doubt that he has the range and maturity to pull it off and the look is undeniable.

I understand a lot of the hesitation fans may have but this is the kind of casting and hopefully the kind of project that could be incredible. Queen was and always will be one of a kind. Hopefully a movie about them will be a great experience as well.
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3:05AM on 09/17/2010
To those who weren't even born when Freddie was in his heyday, perhaps this will sound like good news. For the rest of us: FUCK NO!
To those who weren't even born when Freddie was in his heyday, perhaps this will sound like good news. For the rest of us: FUCK NO!
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2:55AM on 09/17/2010
my question is this. Is he gonna make a joke out of it like he does everything else, or is he gonna take it seriously? I can see a lot of Queen fans being VERY upset if he doesn't take it seriously!
my question is this. Is he gonna make a joke out of it like he does everything else, or is he gonna take it seriously? I can see a lot of Queen fans being VERY upset if he doesn't take it seriously!
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-6
1:13AM on 09/17/2010

I don't think so

Really? The guy who played Bruno, Ali G and the gay Frenchman from Talladega Nights as the greatest singer in rock history? I'll admit he does look like a much uglier and somehow even gayer version of Mercury, but unless this is supposed to be some sort of Queen-spoof, this just sounds stupid to me.
Maybe if it was someone like Sam Rockwell then I'd be on board. But Queen is one of the greatest bands ever and they deserve better than this.
Really? The guy who played Bruno, Ali G and the gay Frenchman from Talladega Nights as the greatest singer in rock history? I'll admit he does look like a much uglier and somehow even gayer version of Mercury, but unless this is supposed to be some sort of Queen-spoof, this just sounds stupid to me.
Maybe if it was someone like Sam Rockwell then I'd be on board. But Queen is one of the greatest bands ever and they deserve better than this.
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2:42AM on 09/17/2010
I totally agree with you
I totally agree with you
1:47PM on 09/17/2010
You said it my friend, you said it.
You said it my friend, you said it.
3:32PM on 09/17/2010
THE MORE YOU KNOW: You don't have to be a rock star to portray one in a film - you need to be an actor. *catchy jingle*
THE MORE YOU KNOW: You don't have to be a rock star to portray one in a film - you need to be an actor. *catchy jingle*
+2
1:02AM on 09/17/2010

Peter Morgan & Queen!?

Oh, THAT Queen. ;D Yeah, who isn't down with Queen these days? They rocked, and their rock will continue to rock.
Oh, THAT Queen. ;D Yeah, who isn't down with Queen these days? They rocked, and their rock will continue to rock.
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12:39AM on 09/17/2010

Inspired casting.

I like the idea here's hoping all parties can deliver. IMO he should have been at least nominated for best actor in Borat. Would love to see any academy award winner try and take on that role as seriously.
I like the idea here's hoping all parties can deliver. IMO he should have been at least nominated for best actor in Borat. Would love to see any academy award winner try and take on that role as seriously.
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+0
12:34AM on 09/17/2010
HELL YES! This is gonna be awesome, I can tell already.
HELL YES! This is gonna be awesome, I can tell already.
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11:52PM on 09/16/2010

This Casting Is

Inspired to say the very least. It could either fail miserably or succeed memorably. There is no middle ground and I am sure Freddie wouldn't have had it any other way, either.
Inspired to say the very least. It could either fail miserably or succeed memorably. There is no middle ground and I am sure Freddie wouldn't have had it any other way, either.
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11:50PM on 09/16/2010
Sounds good! Russell Brand is another who could do Freddie IMO. BTW, I have "Live Killers" 2 cd set -very good performances from the early 1979 Tour.
Sounds good! Russell Brand is another who could do Freddie IMO. BTW, I have "Live Killers" 2 cd set -very good performances from the early 1979 Tour.
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-9
11:21PM on 09/16/2010

I'd really prefer Jack Black

But Cohen would be perfect as Sinatra.
But Cohen would be perfect as Sinatra.
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11:01PM on 09/16/2010
I think he's a hell of an actor. It's good to see him using his talents on things other that shit like Bruno. I think he'll do great.
I think he's a hell of an actor. It's good to see him using his talents on things other that shit like Bruno. I think he'll do great.
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10:26PM on 09/16/2010

Love Queen thanks to "Highlander" soundtrack.

Queen is one of my all time favorite bands even before I had any idea what being gay was, I loved the flamboyance & the skill Freddy Mercury had. You can thank it all to the "Highlander" soundtrack. I love the song "Who wants to live forever" the most, but the whole soundtrack is excellent. I know probably a little too much about Queen for this to be anything I haven't seen before, but It seems like a pretty good casting choice.
Queen is one of my all time favorite bands even before I had any idea what being gay was, I loved the flamboyance & the skill Freddy Mercury had. You can thank it all to the "Highlander" soundtrack. I love the song "Who wants to live forever" the most, but the whole soundtrack is excellent. I know probably a little too much about Queen for this to be anything I haven't seen before, but It seems like a pretty good casting choice.
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10:14PM on 09/16/2010
NICE! I am pumped for this! I think Cohen is perfect!
NICE! I am pumped for this! I think Cohen is perfect!
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10:08PM on 09/16/2010
Freddy Lives- I knew a guy who was a dead ringer for Mercury, and could sing opera, and acted in movies, but Cohen should do good too.
Freddy Lives- I knew a guy who was a dead ringer for Mercury, and could sing opera, and acted in movies, but Cohen should do good too.
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9:59PM on 09/16/2010

Awesome!!

I think that this is perfect casting. I'm eager to see Cohen in a really serious role. and dude looks EXACTLY like Mercury. I'm down for this, totally.
I think that this is perfect casting. I'm eager to see Cohen in a really serious role. and dude looks EXACTLY like Mercury. I'm down for this, totally.
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-1
9:50PM on 09/16/2010
This should be great. Cohen was kinda wack in Bruno but am willing to give him another shot
This should be great. Cohen was kinda wack in Bruno but am willing to give him another shot
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9:45PM on 09/16/2010
So, they are making a movie about the lead singer of Queen, written by the guy who wrote The Queen, and produced by Queen Films? Will it be shot in Queens? And have a cameo by Queen Latifa? Product placements with Dairy Queen? In all seriousness though, I'm pretty interested to see how this turns out.
So, they are making a movie about the lead singer of Queen, written by the guy who wrote The Queen, and produced by Queen Films? Will it be shot in Queens? And have a cameo by Queen Latifa? Product placements with Dairy Queen? In all seriousness though, I'm pretty interested to see how this turns out.
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9:26PM on 09/16/2010
I like Cohen and think he is funny, but I just don't think this casting is right. I want the film to do well, because Freddie Mercury is my favorite singer of all time and think that he has the greatest voice of all time. I just think they could have done alot better than casting Cohen for the lead singer of one of the greatest bands to have ever played Rock N' Roll.
I like Cohen and think he is funny, but I just don't think this casting is right. I want the film to do well, because Freddie Mercury is my favorite singer of all time and think that he has the greatest voice of all time. I just think they could have done alot better than casting Cohen for the lead singer of one of the greatest bands to have ever played Rock N' Roll.
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1:41PM on 09/17/2010
Man, as much as I don't want to agree with you (your posts often seem contrary for the sake of, no offense please), I entirely agree with you here.
Man, as much as I don't want to agree with you (your posts often seem contrary for the sake of, no offense please), I entirely agree with you here.
8:54PM on 09/16/2010
Sacha wants an Oscarrr.
Sacha wants an Oscarrr.
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8:48PM on 09/16/2010
Honestly Ive never liked anything Cohen's the lead star in.
Honestly Ive never liked anything Cohen's the lead star in.
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8:34PM on 09/16/2010

Love Queen. Hate Cohen. Fuck this.

2nded.
2nded.
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-14
8:27PM on 09/16/2010
Love Queen. Hate Cohen. Fuck this.
Love Queen. Hate Cohen. Fuck this.
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-12
8:16PM on 09/16/2010

Not Borat.

I can't even articulate how terrible an idea it was to cast this man as the great Freddie Mercury.
I can't even articulate how terrible an idea it was to cast this man as the great Freddie Mercury.
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+2
8:06PM on 09/16/2010
Great casting.
Great casting.
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7:59PM on 09/16/2010

tidbit

Live Killers rules!!
Live Killers rules!!
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+5
7:49PM on 09/16/2010
Oooo, good casting. Loved Cohen in Sweeney (still trying to forget Borat and Bruno). I think he'll be great in this.
Oooo, good casting. Loved Cohen in Sweeney (still trying to forget Borat and Bruno). I think he'll be great in this.
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+0
7:48PM on 09/16/2010
Finally!
Finally!
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+0
7:48PM on 09/16/2010
Finally!
Finally!
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7:45PM on 09/16/2010

Greatest rock and roll voice of all-time!

I'm totally in. Get it right fellas!
I'm totally in. Get it right fellas!
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7:48PM on 09/16/2010
ahh someone knows. someone knows what's good ; ) and QUEEN was the best band ever
ahh someone knows. someone knows what's good ; ) and QUEEN was the best band ever
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